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Matter of Kroll

New York Surrogate’s Court
971 N.Y.S.2d 863 (2013)


Facts

Moses Ratowsky created a trust for the benefit of his then-one-year-old grandson, Daniel Schreiber. Daniel’s mother, Rachel Schreiber (plaintiff), and Alan Kroll (plaintiff) were appointed co-trustees. The terms of the trust gave Daniel, once he turned 21, full access to trust principal, as well as regular, mandated distributions of trust income and principal. After the trust was established, Daniel developed several disabilities on account of which he received Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Daniel was a teenager when Ratowsky died. Before Daniel turned 21, Kroll and Schreiber took steps to “decant” the existing trust assets into a new, supplemental needs trust in order to ensure Daniel would not lose his eligibility for disability benefits upon gaining access to the trust at age 21. Kroll and Schreiber petitioned the New York Surrogate’s Court of Nassau County to approve the decanting. The New York State Department of Health (State) (defendant), which oversaw the Medicaid program in New York, opposed the transfer of assets into a new trust.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McCarty III, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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