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Monday, December 31, 2018

Why Trusts are Valuable in Estate Planning


Do I need a trust?

New York and New Jersey estate planning attorneys recognize that even though most people understand that the purpose of a last will and testament, also called simply a “will”, is to designate who gets their property and who would be guardians of their minor children after they die, few people realize or fully understand the role that living and other trusts can play in a comprehensive estate plan.

Revocable living trusts are often used in estate planning because they allow people to remain in control of their assets during their lifetime, provide for management in the event of incapacity, and allow the assets to be transferred upon death in accordance with the maker’s wishes. The trust process allows trust assets to pass to beneficiaries more quickly because they avoid probate and the delays, costs, and lack of privacy associated therewith.
Read more . . .


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Technology is Changing the Ways in Which We Buy and Sell Real Estate


How can buyers and sellers protect themselves when transacting through new technology?

A new blockchain-based app aims to revolutionize the ways in which buyers and sellers transact in real estate.  The New York based app is called ShelterZoom and it is set to launch in 2019. The app is intended to bring a new ease to real estate transactions, making buying or selling a home as easy as pushing a button.  Through the app, buyers and sellers, along with their real estate agents, can view offers and acceptances in real time. Vital information like home inspection documents, property titles, and the like will be visible to all parties through the blockchain ledger.
Read more . . .


Friday, December 14, 2018

Popular Estate Planning Tactics for Helicopter Parents


What can I do now to retain some control over my children’s inheritance after I die?

Many people know that a last will and testament, commonly called a will, is the foundation document in an estate plan. In a nutshell, it disposes of the maker’s property after death and in the case of minor children, designates the legal guardians who will raise them and the trustees to handle their inheritance until they reach maturity age.

But many people are not as aware of Read more . . .


Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Look at the Most Important Estate Planning Documents


Why should everyone have a durable power of attorney?


We have likely all heard the tale of a person who passed away without an estate plan, leaving the heirs to battle it out.  Some of us have actually experienced the pain of losing a loved one who left no instructions as to their last wishes. Dying without an estate plan in place can leave a legal disaster for your loved ones.  

Your heirs may feel confused and lost as to what decisions you would want made regarding your healthcare, finances, and funeral. At times, people you love could receive nothing due to New York’s intestacy laws.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Novel Legal Argument Results in Huge New York Estate Tax Refund


Does New York State owe me a tax refund?

It isn’t often that New York estate administration attorneys come across something new and exciting in the relatively stable and unchanged world of trusts and estates law.

But a recent ruling in favor of an estate that took a novel and daring estate tax approach has turned New York estate administration practice on its ear. By applying the same arguments, many others may be entitled to “big estate tax refunds and future savings”.
Read more . . .


Monday, November 19, 2018

Orphaned Children Left Behind After New York Limo Crash

Q: What happens when parents of minor children die together without a will?

“The deadliest transportation accident in nearly a decade” happened in New York recently-- one where 20 lives were taken instantly in a horrific limousine crash upstate. The limo driver and all 17 passengers were killed upon impact along with two pedestrians when the limo reportedly barreled down a hill, left the road, hit the pedestrians and slammed into a shallow creek bed near a busy market place. The 17 passengers were all friends and family on the way to a 30th birthday celebration for one on board. One family lost 4 sisters—one being the birthday girl.

Post-accident reports highlight issues of liability and hint of the potential for wrongful death actions against the company that owned the limousine which reportedly “had a record of repeated safety violations”. But important New York estate planning issues were not thoroughly discussed.


Read more . . .


Monday, November 12, 2018

How Estate Planning Protects Assets

Q: Does estate planning save money and assets?

Contrary to what many people may assume, skilled estate planning attorneys do not simply assist people with preparing a last will and testament that gives away their property after they die. While having a will is certainly part of the job, they also help clients protect their assets and preserve their wealth for their own benefit and for the future of their loved ones.

Often, a trust is implemented in estate planning. Some of the common reasons to choose a trust as part of your estate planning may include:


Read more . . .


Monday, November 5, 2018

Buying a Home in New York City or New Jersey

Q: What do I need to know about buying a home?

Have you been dreaming of buying a home in Staten Island or somewhere else in or near New York City?

Well, it pays to educate yourself before embarking on your search or dropping a large down-payment by following an experienced real estate attorney’s 7-Step “Real Estate Purchase Roadmap”:


Read more . . .


Monday, October 29, 2018

Estate Planning Post-Divorce

What will happen if I die before updating my will after my divorce?

Once you take the step to create a will, it is easy to stash your will away and forget its existence.  For many of us, life evolves and changes, and these life alterations could greatly impact your estate plan.  Perhaps no single life event will so affect your estate plan as a divorce.  Divorcing spouses should not overlook the important task of updating all estate planning documents post-divorce to avoid any confusion or unintended consequences.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Replacing the Trustee of a Living Trust


What happens if a trustee becomes mentally incapacitated?

While the goal of skilled estate planning attorneys is to eliminate or reduce surprises, sometimes real-life situations play out like a bad reality TV show.

Such was the case involving a 92-year-old Hawaiian princess, her longtime attorney, her longtime girlfriend, and her living trust fund.

Reportedly, the woman – – believed to be the last descendent of sugar plantation royalty that ruled the island prior to 1893 – – was the trustee of a living trust for her benefit.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 15, 2018

When Estates Gets Sued

Q: Can an estate be sued?

New York and New Jersey estate planning attorneys help people craft a unique estate plan designed to protect them and their loved ones when incapacity and/or death strike.

A Last Will and Testament, commonly called a “Will”, is a document that disposes of your assets in the manner in which you desire and also serves other purposes such as designating the legal guardians of any minor children, and more. In addition to a Will, which distributes your probate assets, some people establish living trusts.

Trusts have many different purposes, and depending on how they are set up, they may sometimes protect your assets from creditors or help qualify you for Medicaid in the event you need long-term nursing home care someday. Without proper planning, some people can lose their life’s savings and jeopardize their family’s financial security when the unexpected happens.


Read more . . .


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