Probate and Estates

What is a Small Estate Proceeding?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / July 1, 2022 / 0 Comments

Not all estates require a probate or full administration proceeding in New York State. A small estate proceeding, also known as a Voluntary Administration, is a simplified Surrogate’s Court procedure. Voluntary Administration is available if the decedent died with or without a Will. What Estates Qualify for a Small Estate Proceeding? Under Article 13 of […]

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Debunking Myths Surrounding Probate

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / May 11, 2022 / 0 Comments

The legalities surrounding a Last Will and Testament stem from Roman times, when six witnesses affixed their personal seals to a Will. The Will was later validated by examining these seals to make sure they remained intact. Today, we use staples instead of seals, but because the Probate process remains so formal, many misconceptions exist. […]

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Rights of a Surviving Spouse

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / April 6, 2022 / 0 Comments

Pursuant to New York State law, you cannot completely disinherit a spouse. A surviving spouse at the time of a decedent’s death has a statutory right to inherit an “elective share” of the deceased spouse’s assets. A surviving spouse may elect against the deceased spouse’s estate in an amount up to $50,000 or one-third of […]

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Fixing an Old Trust to Avoid Capital Gains Tax for Heirs

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / March 25, 2022 / 0 Comments

One of the most disruptive proposals put forth last year by Congress was the elimination of the tax-free basis step up at death. Luckily for many of our clients, the legislation was never enacted. People all over the country benefit from basis-step up when they inherit low basis property which they can turn around and […]

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Dying without a Will in New York State

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / February 25, 2022 / 0 Comments

Passing away without a Will is known as dying “intestate.”  Many people mistakenly believe that if they die without a Will their assets go to the State. If there is a blood relative that can be located, the assets do not escheat to the State. New York EPTL 4-1.1 governs distribution of assets for those […]

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Have you checked if you have unclaimed funds in New York state?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / January 14, 2022 / 0 Comments

Did you know that banks, insurance companies, corporations and courts are required by law to report dormant accounts to the New York State Comptroller? These organizations must attempt to notify you by mail and publish this information in newspapers. Nevertheless, many funds remain unclaimed and are turned over to the Office of the State Comptroller. […]

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2022 Updates to Estate and Gift Taxes

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / December 6, 2021 / 0 Comments

The Build Back Better Act was passed by the House of Representatives on November 5, 2021 and is headed for the Senate. None of the major provisions that would have affected estate planning were included in the House version. However, the Senate may put some of those provisions back in before passing. We will keep […]

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How much is an executor paid?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / November 10, 2021 / 0 Comments

An executor is the individual appointed to administer someone’s Last Will and Testament. An executor of a New York estate is not expected to administer a decedent’s estate for free.  Executors receive a set commission, paid out of the estate.  Commissions are calculated as a percentage of the value of the “probate estate,” less any […]

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Leaving Assets to a Non-Citizen Spouse

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / November 8, 2021 / 0 Comments

Couples in which both spouses are U.S. citizens receive the benefit of the unlimited marital deduction on federal estate and gift taxes. The idea is that the surviving spouse pays the estate at their death. But what if you have a foreign spouse? Transfers from a U.S. citizen to a noncitizen spouse do not enjoy […]

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“Per Stirpes” vs “Per Capita” Estate Distributions

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / October 6, 2021 / 0 Comments

Wills and revocable trusts often refer to the terms “per stirpes” and “per capita”. When you create a last will and testament, or a revocable trust, you choose specific beneficiaries to inherit your estate at your death. But what if the predecease you? These Latin terms set forth different ways your property is to be […]

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