Nancy Burner: Elder Care Extraordinaire

2014 Group Atty Group Shot Nancy Burner 2014 HeadshotStory by Bob Chartuk
Most people don’t know that the largest growing segment of the population is people over 90 years old. This fact is not lost on Nancy Burner, Esq. President and founder of Nancy Burner & Associates PC, the largest all female elder law firm in the tri-state area. The firm concentrates on giving their clients peace of mind in planning for the future. An aging population requires individuals to prepare for living longer and accept the fact that they may need assistance in the future.
Burner believes that her firm, rooted in the communities where they live and work, makes the difference. If people are to “age in place” then there must be a real sense of community, and there must be more and better services available to keep seniors engaged and safe at home. The firm uses its resources to put on seminars in the community on estate planning, elder law and non-legal related topics like “hoarding” and “de cluttering” aimed at educating seniors. The firm also partners with the local hospitals and medical professionals in putting on smart talks for staff, volunteers and individuals in the community.
With clients, it’s not uncommon for seniors to come to the office with several family members. “I try to involve all members of a family in the planning process so they understand the wishes and desires of the client,” Burner points out. “Transparency, can sometimes avoid future conflicts if handled correctly. A good estate plan is one that the clients understand and which meets their needs both now and in the future,” Burner continued, noting that she serves as a “counselor at law” and not just the preparer of documents.
Many times, decisions regarding taxes and estate planning, long term care, and who you should choose to handle your affairs if you are no longer able can be overwhelming. It is imperative that the attorney spends as much time as necessary to provide an honest, accurate and comprehensive analysis of each person’s circumstances. “The goal is to serve clients with compassion and respect” said Burner.
Serving families since 1995, Burner and her staff, which has grown to 34 and includes her daughters Robin and Britt, are guided by a powerful vision: “We encourage each of our employees to be at their best, both professionally and personally, and this in turn empowers them to provide the highest level of service to our clients,” Burner said.
“We have a unique culture made up of professionals who enjoy their work and are growing and prospering together,” said Michele Biggart, office manager. “This allows us to devote our full energies to our clients.” The firm provides three month’s maternity leave to staff so they can come back to work with a clear head. “We are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives,” Michele says.
Burner is an advocate of Long Term Care insurance to cover nursing home expenses or care in the home, provided the clients can afford it and qualify medically. “With advances in medicine and technology, people are living longer and are requiring care as they age,” she said. “Having long term care coverage is just one of many tools in the tool box. Planning for the future requires alternatives and back up plans. A good estate plan accomplishes that goal.”
From a basement office in 1995 with only one assistant, Burner has grown her practice into a premier elder care firm in the New York Metropolitan area. Her main office is in Setauket, with offices in Westhampton Beach where Robin, her daughter lives and in New York City where daughter Britt lives. The Manhattan office also serves clients who have second homes on Long Island.
“Britt is very active in New York City as we are in the Three Village Area and Westhampton,” Burner pointed out. “We don’t just service the communities in which we live, we are a part of them as we participate in community events and support the many various activities that make people’s lives so rich and worthwhile. It is through the relationships we have formed over the years that we grow and find our best selves.”

Nancy Burner Areas Of Practice

• Estate Planning: Proper planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.

• Medicaid Planning: Handling the issues surrounding Medicaid eligibility—the application process and planning—are essential to avoid the financial ruin often associated with the high cost of long-term care.

• Special Needs Planning: Special Needs Trusts are a critical component of estate planning if you have disabled beneficiaries whom you want to take care of.

• Guardianships: For some members of our society, legal protection may be necessary even after they have entered adulthood.

• Probate and Estate Administration: If your loved one owned their assets through a well drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no court managed administration is necessary.

• Veteran’s Benefits: Many veterans and their families are unaware that they could be eligible for a wide range of benefits through Veterans Affairs even if they did not directly retire from the military or suffer injuries in the line of duty.

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