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Paperwork Required for Asset Transfers

by David Cutner, Elder Law Expert
July 07, 2016

Question: My father’s health is failing and he keeps talking about giving his assets to me. What kind of paperwork does he need to get ready for this?

Answer: The paperwork needed to transfer assets depends on what assets he is transferring. Real estate requires a deed.  Co-op shares require approval from the Board of Directors, and transfer forms that the managing agent for the building can provide. Bank account balances can be transferred by check or wire transfer. Sometimes the same or better results can be achieved by adding co-owners or beneficiary designations.

Before making any transfers, however, the most important questions to answer are:  what are your father’s goals, and what are the consequences of making these transfers? If he is planning to apply for Medicaid benefits now or in the future, transfers of assets can affect his eligibility.  Also, transfers can have tax consequences, and these should be considered as well. You should have the advice of an experienced Elder Law attorney before doing anything.

David Cutner is one of the founders of Lamson & Cutner, P.C., a preeminent Elder Law firm in New York City and Westchester County. Mr. Cutner is known as an experienced and compassionate advocate for the elderly and disabled. Personal attention to the financial and health care needs of each client, and accurate, individualized advice, are hallmarks of the firm. Mr. Cutner helps clients achieve their goals in a cost-effective way.

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