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Protecting Loved Ones from Elder Abuse

Finding professional and caring home care services for an elderly family member can be challenging.  Families express concerns over the prevention of elder abuse and how they can protect a loved one’s legal rights.  Seeking advice from an experienced elder law attorney can help you make the right decisions when it comes to your elderly loved ones.

There are several forms of elder maltreatment, including emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and financial abuse.  Some studies report as much as 25 percent of elderly adults are abused in some fashion at the hands of caregivers.  Caregivers can be paid employees or family members.

One obstacle in remedying elder abuse is identifying it in the first place.  Older adults may have dementia or other health issues, that may cause them to have a disheveled appearance.  Separating the cases where an individual’s grooming issues are caused by maltreatment, as opposed to it being an effect of medical and psychological concerns, is not as easy as one might think.  Additionally, it may be necessary for caregivers to take precautions, such as physical restraints, to safeguard an individual’s safety.  Each case must be analyzed on an individual basis because the circumstances may lead to a finding of maltreatment, or may be a justifiable safety measure.

Another obstacle facing abuse is the secrecy surrounding issues of elder abuse.  According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, there are approximately 65.7 million informal and family caregivers in America.  Due to such a high number of family and informal caregivers, many times elder abuse is not discussed or reported.  Aside from instances of intentional abuse, caregivers can often suffer from fatigue and lack of resources to adequately care for their loved one which can lead to unintentional neglect or abuse.

Choosing the right caregiver and planning for long term care are very difficult and important decisions you and your family will have to make.  Contact an experienced New York elder law attorney who can help.  For more information, contact Hobson-Williams, P.C. at (718) 210-4744 for the quality representation that you deserve.

Caregivers Kept in the Loop with NY CARE Law

The Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act (CARE), signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on October 14, 2015, has been fully enacted as of January 7, 2016.  The law requires hospitals to allow a caregiver to be added to a patient’s record when being admitted.  The law goes further in requiring hospitals to keep the caregiver well informed about how to care for the patient, even training the caregiver before the patient is discharged.

In New York, there are approximately 4.1 million New Yorkers acting as caregivers, often for a family member, and many times unpaid.  Caregivers are usually lacking in proper training because they are family or friends, which can increase the number of patient hospital or doctor visits.  The New York State Senate estimates that the total value of unpaid care reaches approximately $32 billion each year.

CARE was enacted because of the strains on the health system, based on the fact that patients are often readmitted to a hospital when not receiving professional care at home.  Additionally, in many instances caregivers are not kept updated about the patient’s care and what treatment is necessary after discharge.  CARE enables caregivers to be better prepared to meet the needs of their loved one, which in turn will hopefully avoid preventable medical costs down the line.  This law also comes at minimal cost to the taxpayers of New York, but substantially benefits the growing population of elderly individuals.

If you or someone you know is a caregiver for a loved one, it is best to consult with an experienced elder law attorney who can guide clients in making the necessary arrangements and help with protecting the rights of the caregiver and patient.  The attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. are available for consultation by calling 866-825-1529.

Tanya Hobson-Williams, P.C. Defends Client’s Marriage to Husband who was declared an Incapacitated Person Resulting in Wife Inheriting $3 Million Dollar Estate

Tanya Hobson-Williams, NY AttorneyOn September 24, 2014, the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Department reversed a lower court’s order annulling the marriage between a younger woman and an elderly man.  The Appellate Division determined that a new hearing on the man’s ability to enter into a marriage contract was warranted. Capacity, in a legal sense,refers to the ability to make a rational decision based upon all relevant facts and considerations.

The case involved an elderly man who was appointed a guardian by the New York Supreme Court to provide for his personal needs and property management. During the course of his guardianship, the elderly gentleman entered into a marriage with a younger woman. After being informed of the marriage, the guardian asked the Court to have a psychologist determine whether the elderly man had the capacity to enter into a marriage. After a hearing and testimony, the New York State Supreme Court determined that the elderly gentleman lacked the capacity to enter into a marriage, and, as a result, annulled the marriage.

On Appeal, attorney Tanya Hobson-Williams, representing the young woman, argued that her client was not given any notice that her marriage would be annulled and that she lacked the opportunity to be heard by the court before it ultimately decided to annul the marriage to her late husband. While the petition to appoint a Guardian for the elderly man requested a determination of the elderly gentleman’s capacity to handle his affairs, neither the Petitioner nor the Guardian ever requested that the marriage be annulled. Essentially, all that was formally requested of the court was to determine matters pertaining to the level of guardianship. Continue reading “Tanya Hobson-Williams, P.C. Defends Client’s Marriage to Husband who was declared an Incapacitated Person Resulting in Wife Inheriting $3 Million Dollar Estate”

Landlord Accused of Denying Tenants’ Plans to Build a Gay Bar

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsThe owner of an establishment named Lulu’s in Brooklyn New York is worried about going out-of-business after his Long Island based landlord denied his attempts to convert his business into a gay bar earlier this April.

Tenant John McGillion, had hoped to revitalize his pub and take advantage of the growing gay and lesbian population in the Greenpoint area. However, a clause in his lease agreement stated “The leased Premises shall be used by Tenant as a restaurant and bar. It shall not be used for adult entertainment and shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and/or restaurant.”

As a result of the clause, McGillion maintains that he is unable to make ends meet and argued in his filing documents that he is “barely scraping by on the proceeds of the bar,” all as a direct consequence of the unfair lease clause. He added: “If I am permitted to operate a gay bar at the premises I believe that I will be able to make a considerable profit.” Continue reading “Landlord Accused of Denying Tenants’ Plans to Build a Gay Bar”

Pour Over Wills


Tanya Hobson-Williams
As many individuals begin to plan for their future and the future of their estate, they are shocked by how many options there are. Many people are familiar with the term “will” and its significance, but too often individuals are also unfamiliar with any other estate planning instruments.

If you have started the process of looking into protecting your assets, an estate planning attorney may have recommended that you create a revocable living trust as the key document in your estate plan, rather than a will. A revocable living trust, if done correctly, will allow your estate to bypass the probate process, as well as keep your information private. Wills become a part of the public record after your death, whereas trusts do not. Continue reading “Pour Over Wills”

New Bill Targets Landlord Mistreatment of Senior Citizens

Tanya Hobson-Williams

It is estimated that over 45 percent of New York’s senior citizens have been in their homes for decades. Most of these seniors are housed in rent-regulated apartments and recently, it has come to light that many landlords have engaged in unfair and cruel practices in an attempt to get rid of long-term tenants and make more money. The claims of such mistreatment of senior citizens began to multiply in 2013 and as a result a bill has been introduced in the New York City Council that will increase penalties of such behavior and hopefully send a message to the landlords of New York City.

The bill, which was introduced early in 2014, sets to double the maximum civil penalty to $10,000 for property owners who abuse seniors. The legislation would also place such property owners on a black list maintained by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Continue reading “New Bill Targets Landlord Mistreatment of Senior Citizens”

Medicaid Myths

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsWe all expect and hope to have long and healthy lives. However, the truth is, no one lives forever and all too often health issues and accidents occur, leaving many individuals unprepared and in trouble. But there is something you can do to ensure you are never put in this position: PLAN! By planning ahead, you are able to answer the tough questions and make arrangements while you are in good health and mind.

The harsh truth is that 7 out of 10 people over the age of 65 will require expensive long-term care at some point. Would you be able to foot the bill for an extended stay at a nursing home, assisted living facility or at-home care for you or your spouse? Even if you could, would you prefer to pass your savings and other assets to your loved ones rather than have those assets depleted by costly long term care expenses? To protect your lifestyle and assets, Medicaid Planning is necessary.

Continue reading “Medicaid Myths”

New Changes to Rent Stabilization Law in New York

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsJanuary of this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law numerous amendments to the system of rent stabilization in New York State. Both landlord and tenants agree that the new amendments strongly help tenants’ rights, while limiting those of landlords.

Currently, laws impose a four-year limitation on checking rent history, but now regulators will be able to look back more than four years to determine whether there was ‘a fraudulent scheme’ to destabilize the apartment. Tenants can also go directly to the state to request rent reductions because of service complaints, whereas before they were required to first inform the landlord.

Additionally, the state will begin to enforce and keep tabs on whether or not a building has any housing violations, and they will reject a landlord’s request to increase rent if any violations exist. Previously, they state would only look up violations if someone filed a complaint. Landlords will also be required to make “extensive new disclosures” when they increase rents, so there will be more oversight from the state. Continue reading “New Changes to Rent Stabilization Law in New York”

Gov. Cuomo Ensures Fair Immigrant Housing for Renters

Tanya Hobson-Williams

Earlier this January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he has ended the reported harassment and intimidation of mainly Spanish-speaking immigrant tenants in nearly 1,800 apartments by reaching a settlement with Castellan Real Estate Partners/Liberty Place Property Management. The official agreement is between the New York State’s Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) and the real estate company which owns nearly 49 buildings in Harlem, Washington Heights, Brooklyn and the South Bronx — the sites of the alleged mistreatment.

The allegations against Castellan, that led the TPU to open its investigation earlier this year, included failure to provide renewal leases; false fees on individuals’ rent statements when tenants have payment receipts; and requesting tenants provide documents proving income or Social Security numbers to determine citizenship status, all of which are illegal to do to existing leaseholders. Continue reading “Gov. Cuomo Ensures Fair Immigrant Housing for Renters”

NYS Breaks Record in Medicaid Fraud Recoveries

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsThe New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG), reports that in 2013, it recovered what seems to be the highest ever recovery amount regarding Medicaid fraud in the history of the agency. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement early this February, reporting a sense of pride in New York and explaining the figures as an illustration of how New York State is “truly leading the nation in fighting fraud and protecting taxpayer dollars.” The exact figures calculated reached $1.7 billion over the past three years, and a record of $851 million in 2013 alone.

Continue reading “NYS Breaks Record in Medicaid Fraud Recoveries”