February 2024: News from LIAFPN members!

We’ve gathered the best insights from our members to share with you each month. Get to know your peers, and get the latest news directly from these industry insiders!

Lawrence Scherer, Esq., CPA, LL.M. Taxation

Elder Law – ABLE Accounts

ABLE accounts serve as an important savings option for people with disabilities who wish to remain eligible for government assistance. These accounts provide people with disabilities the ability to save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government benefits.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced an adjustment in the federal gift tax annual exclusion amount. The change increases the annual exclusion from $17,000 in 2023 to $18,000 per recipient starting January 1, 2024. For married couples, this means they can now give $36,000/year per recipient beginning this year. How does this change affect ABLE accounts? The annual deposit limit for ABLE accounts is tied to the annual gift tax exclusion, so the limit for ABLE accounts will rise as well. This means, starting in 2024, individuals with disabilities and their family members can now deposit up to $18,000 into an ABLE account. The funds saved in ABLE accounts can be used to pay for qualified disability expenses including education, health care, transportation, and housing. Furthermore, the interest earned is tax-free.

Protections for NY Freelance Workers

Freelance workers now have better rights and protections with the enactment of the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act. The new law applies to covered freelance workers being paid at least $800 for their work. The law requires the use of written contracts, timely and full payment for a worker’s services, and protections from employer retaliation and discrimination. The Department of Labor will provide model contracts to both freelance workers and employers that abides by the new law.

NY Makes Significant Changes to the Property Condition Disclosure Statement Requirement

New York Real Property Law (“RPL”) recently was amended to remove the $500 remedy that was available when the Seller failed to provide a complete Property Condition Disclosure Statement (the “PCDS”). The new law is effective on and after March 20, 2024. Going forward from that date, almost all residential real estate Sellers will need to provide a completed PCDS. The Act still exempts coops and condos, as well as Estates and certain Trusts from disclosure under the PCDS. The PCDS must be provided to the buyer or their agent before the contracts are signed. A copy of the PCDS must be attached to the purchase contract. As before, the amended Act does not prevent the parties from entering into various agreements concerning the physical condition of the property being sold, including “as is” agreements.

New York to Add One (1) or Two (2) New School Holidays

New for 2024; New York is officially naming two new school holidays on its academic calendar. Starting immediately, public schools will be closed on Lunar New Year, as part of the Governor’s campaign to support and protect the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Further, in New York City, Diwali will also be designated as a school holiday. Public schools will be closed on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Indian calendar in each year.

Committee Adopted to Advise on Reparations for Slavery

In an effort to acknowledge past slavery and its impact across generations, Governor Hochul is researching the potential to grant reparations. The Governor recently signed legislation to create a commission to study reparations for Black New Yorkers. A nine-member commission will study the effects of slavery and make non-binding recommendations on reparations. The commission’s recommendations will be made in the next two years that “may include compensation” but can also include statutory and policy fixes. The commission will be convened within the next six months, and after that, they’ll have a year to draft a report.

In addition to being a co-founder of the LIAFPN, Larry Scherer has a strong background in Trust & Estates and Elder Law, and serves as Managing Member of Scherer & Pudell, Pllc, a Transactional Law Firm in Garden City, NY. He can be reached at (516) 747-7007.

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Neil Himmelstein

What are You Doing About the Long Term Care Crisis to Protect Your Family and Business?

Fact is that we are living longer which creates a greater demand for long term Care services, straining financial resources and taking an emotional toll on both the person needing care and the caregivers.

Another Fact is that over 70 percent of people reaching age 65 will need long term care services. The need for these services could be ten years or more! Health insurance does not cover the kind of services that a Long Term Care policy would.

Long Term Care Insurance Options and Its Various Pros and Cons:

Stand Alone or Traditional Long Term Care Insurance


  • Direct coverage for long term care expenses.
  • Flexibility in choosing care providers.
  • Care coordination assistance, discounted services, and bed reservations, etc.
  • Tax deductions available on premiums.


  • Have suffered major price increases due to bad claims experience and longevity. Indications there will be further price increases in the future.

Hybrid Plans are Life Insurance with Long Term Care Riders


  • Combines long term care insurance with life insurance. If long term care is never needed, insurance will pass on to the heirs.
  • Likelihood of price increase is minimal.


  • Usage of this policy will decrease or eliminate the death benefit or other features.

Asset-Based Plans


  • Usually a Single Pay plan or ten pay plan. Policy is paid up with NO price increases. Set up on an annuity or life chassis with added benefits.


  • Takes a large commitment of funds up front.

CONCLUSION: Don’t ignore the Crisis – Consult with us on how to best protect your family.

In addition to being a co-founder of the LIAFPN, Neil is a seasoned insurance professional and heads up the Main Street Planning Group in Center Moriches, NY, and is the host of a weekly radio show, “The Main Street Code for Financial Success”. He can be reached at (631) 647-4697.

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