News & Insights

The new tax law means it is time to review your estate plan

The new tax law has gotten a lot of media coverage in New York mostly because of the loss of the State and local tax deduction and the end of the “Obamacare” health insurance individual mandate. Less attention is paid to the significant estate and gift tax changes contained in the law. These provisions may … Read more

Don’t Leave your Heirs with Problems Probating your Will

Typically, probating your will is a straightforward process, but sometimes issues can arise especially when a will was executed years ago and witnesses have died or moved, or the attorney who drafted the will and oversaw its execution did not follow industry “best practices.” These issues could create problems for your chosen executor when he/she seeks to probate the will.

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Tax Benefits of Using Your IRA Distributions to Donate to Charities

Donating to charity your IRA distributions can be an excellent way to both support causes that are meaningful to you and reduce your taxes. Fortunately, a provision of the Internal Revenue Code, which gives donor’s a significant tax benefit, was made permanent at the end of 2015 so individuals can now take advantage of the rules as an integral part of their tax and estate planning.

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Can an “Irrevocable” Trust be Changed?

Under New York law, a trustee can modify an irrevocable trust in certain situations. The process, called “decanting,” permits alteration of a trust by “pouring” the existing (invaded) trust into a new trust. This gives the trustee surprising flexibility to create a new trust that will better accommodate changed circumstances, notwithstanding that the trust is irrevocable.

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How to Handle Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

Increasingly, individuals are accumulating digital assets that they may want to pass on after their death. Social media accounts, websites, online libraries of content and the like can often be inherited like any other asset. Accordingly, individuals working on their estate planning should address how they want the executor of their estate to handle such assets in order to avoid complications after their death.

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What You Need To Do To Safeguard Your Will and Property

A will is an important document needed to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in a manner that you see fit. However, it’s not enough to prepare and execute a will. Important steps must be taken to safeguard your will and estate plan is actually carried out as you intend. One easily overlooked step, but which a former colleague turned Court attorney assures me comes up frequently, is securing the whereabouts of your original will and leaving behind appropriate information to aid those who will be handling your estate.

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Estate Planning Musts for Liquor License Owners

Individuals who hold a liquor license face a number of restrictions on their business operations. In the context of estate and business succession planning, these limitations add an extra burden when passing the business on to heirs due to additional restrictions which may come into play after the death of a license holder. If owners do not plan appropriately, their estate may face legal difficulties and high costs which could reduce their assets.

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How to Maximize Your Estate with a Retirement Asset Trust

For years, the government and financial experts have encouraged individuals to save more money for retirement. One of the best ways to save is to use tax beneficial accounts, including 401k, 403(b) or traditional IRAs. These accounts allow assets to grow tax deferred until the funds are withdrawn, which is not required until an individual reaches age 70 and a half. As a result, many people will die with significant assets in these tax protected accounts, which can pose challenges for proper estate planning. However, retirement asset trusts can provide a solution.

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