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Recent Blog Posts

Will Omissions: The Right Way to Disinherit

In some situations, you may want to disinherit an individual who may normally expect to inherit a portion of your estate. This can be an extremely delicate situation. There are a lot of reasons to leave a person out, some more nefarious than others. While family feuds might be what immediately come to mind, there… Read More »

Learn from the Past! Avoid These Top Estate Planning Blunders

Estate planning is complicated. Even the rich and famous make mistakes when handling their estates, and hopefully you can learn from their blunders so you don’t repeat them in your own estate plan.  Here are five top mistakes people make when trying to create an estate plan: Leaving your intent unclear. Your estate plan is… Read More »

The Differences Between Litigating a Will and a Trust

Just as wills and trusts are two distinct types of estate planning documents, there are also differences in the ways each document can be challenged by disgruntled persons hoping to lay claim to the assets contained therein.  Here’s a look at the ways that each document can be litigated or challenged: Wills — Wills are… Read More »

What Probate Is and How Long It Takes

You may have executed a will thinking that dispersing your assets after you are gone will be simple and quick.  Your daughter gets the house, your son gets the cars, and the money is dispersed equally according to the will, right?  Unfortunately, administering a will may not always be so quick and simple. Probate is… Read More »

What is a Guardianship?

Let’s face it: we don’t live in a perfect world. Life often throws us unexpected curveballs that either (a) completely derails us, sending us into chaos; or (b) force us to readjust our plans. One of these less-than-perfect situations arises from the sudden loss of or inability of parents to care for their child. The… Read More »

Taxable Estates

Even though estates are taxed by the federal government when an estate is worth more than $5.25 million for individuals and $10.5 million for couples, New York State has additional taxes and considerations that must be taken into account when estate planning. New York is unique in its treatment of estate taxes. If you are… Read More »

Who Needs a Supplemental Needs Trust?

If you have a disabled person in your family or under your care, you may be concerned about helping them to maximize their resources and enhance their quality of life. A supplemental needs trust might be just the ticket. What is a supplemental needs trust? A supplemental needs trust is a legal tool used to… Read More »

Types of Trusts in New York

Trusts aren’t just for the wealthy anymore. Many modern estate plans incorporate some type of trust for a wide variety of reasons.  Some types of trusts are used to postpone or eliminate estate taxes.  Others are used to deal with specific situations, such as an incapacitated beneficiary or to protect a beneficiary against creditors. Here… Read More »

Who Will Speak on Your Behalf? Choosing a Health Care Proxy

In New York, the law allows you to pick someone you trust to act as a proxy, or decision-maker, on your behalf to make health care decisions if you are unable to make them for yourself. One common misconception that many individuals have is that if they are young and/or healthy, they don’t need to… Read More »

Responsibilities of the Executor

When people look for a babysitter for their children, it is important to take extra precautions to assure that the person with whom they entrust their kids is well suited for the job.  It is also smart to ask those that they trust to recommend a babysitter and then exercise due diligence to check the… Read More »