Popular Articles

6 January, 2021

Guardianship Law Articles

A guardianship proceeding is commenced under Article 81 of New York State Mental Hygiene Law. The purpose of the proceeding is to have a guardian appointed for a person who is deemed incapacitated and unable to make decisions with respect to personal and/or financial matters. The Court must find that the alleged incapacitated person (or “AIP”) cannot appreciate the nature and consequences of his or her inability to handle such matters and that the AIP is likely to suffer harm if a Guardian is not appointed. Continue reading →

17 January, 2021

Estate Planning Law Articles

Certain Biden-Harris proposals may, if enacted, have a significant effect on your estate plan. 2020 was a monumental year with many changes and 2021 may bring changes that affect your estate plan. There was a political shift in Washington, changes to the New York State Medicaid program, a world-wide pandemic, and amendments to state and local laws. So regardless of the policies and laws that have been proposed by President Biden and Vice President Harris, 2021 is a good time to review your estate plan with your attorney to ensure your planning is in line with the changes wrought by a tumultuous year. Continue reading →

18 December, 2020

Elder Law Articles

Immediate need Medicaid is an expedited application process to receive long term care at home paid for by Medicaid. Unlike the standard Medicaid application process, which can take approximately 6 months to receive services, those applying for immediate need Medicaid tend to receive care at home within one month of applying. Continue reading →

13 January, 2021

Elder Law Articles

New York State has an estate tax “cliff”, which means that if an estate exceeds 105% of the New York estate tax exemption then the estate will receive absolutely no exemption from New York estate taxes and the entire value of the estate is subject to New York’s estate tax. Since the 2021 NYS exemption amount is $5.93 million, estates larger than $6,226,500 are subject to New York State estate tax rate. The New York estate tax rate ranges from 5% to 16%. This estate will receive absolutely no exemption from New York estate taxes. Hence the necessity to avoid the dreaded estate tax cliff, if possible. Continue reading →

24 February, 2021

Elder Law Articles

Now more than ever it is important to consider your estate planning and the reality that if you apply for Community Medicaid in the future, you will be subject to a thirty-month lookback. By setting up a properly funded Irrevocable Trust and getting through the thirty -month time period, you will ensure that assets held in the trust are protected. If you are considering applying for Community Medicaid for yourself or your loved one, an application should be submitted as soon as possible prior to the enforcement of the new legislation. Continue reading →

17 February, 2021

Estate Planning Law Articles

When a couple marries later in life, after they both had children of their own, their estate plans need to take their blended family into account. For example, there are estate planning techniques such as a Qtip Trusts that allow income to the surviving spouse for life, with property passing to children upon the surviving spouse’s death. However, some couples maintain separate assets throughout the marriage and want to leave those assets to their respective children, not to each other, upon their deaths. In New York state, you cannot disinherit your spouse without his or her permission and, relying on just a promise invites disaster. Continue reading →

18 February, 2021

Probate Law Articles

Under Article 19 of the New York Surrogate's Court Procedure Act, real property vests in the decedent’s heirs or legatees immediately as owners date of death. So why would someone have to go through probate to take title or sell it? Although technically a probate or administration proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court is not needed to become the owner of real property, heirs may face issues if they want to sell the property. This is because to sell the property, the purchaser will want to make sure that seller can convey good title. The purchasers will typically run a title report. Continue reading →

Estate planning is just as vital for the single person as it is for a married couple. A comprehensive estate plan details how assets will be distributed upon death and also sets forth a strategy for incapacity. Incapacity can be short term or long term. A complete estate plan often includes a power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, and last will and testament. For many single clients, choosing who to give certain responsibilities to can be an extra challenge. For older clients, putting together a “team” of friends, family and professionals allows designated individuals to step in and meet their needs in a well-coordinated manner. Continue reading →

7 January, 2021

Probate Law Articles

Whether a bank account must go through probate depends on how the account was held – jointly or in the decedent’s sole name. Like real property, bank accounts can be owned in many ways. If a bank account is held jointly between two or more parties, there is usually a right of survivorship. This means that if two people are co-owners of an account, and one owner dies, the surviving owner inherits the account, without the need for probate. Continue reading →

19 February, 2021

Estate Planning Law Articles

Why are Charitable Remainder Trusts becoming popular after the SECURE Act? Because these types of trusts are income tax exempt. Accordingly, if you name your Charitable Remainder Trust as the beneficiary of your IRA, at your death, your estate receives a charitable deduction for the portion that is attributable to the charity. Only when your beneficiary receives a distribution from the trust, will the income portion of the distribution be subject to income tax. Continue reading →

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