Probate and Estates

How to Collect on Life Insurance Proceeds

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / December 7, 2022 / 0 Comments

Most people do not realize that a Will likely does not control who collects on a life insurance policy. The beneficiary named on the policy supersedes the Will. So long as the policy owner correctly designated a beneficiary on the policy, that designation controls. If you are the primary beneficiary If you are the primary […]

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Drama Free Ways to Disinherit a Child

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / November 4, 2022 / 0 Comments

In New York State, a parent has no obligation to leave an inheritance to a child. Many other countries have “forced heirship” which prohibits parents from disinheriting children, but Louisiana is the only US state with such a law. In New York, the only relative who cannot be disinherited is a surviving spouse. The surviving […]

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What is Portability?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / August 29, 2022 / 0 Comments

The word is defined as “the ability to be easily moved,” but in the context of Trusts & Estates, it means much more. In this regard, portability is one of the strongest tools in the planner’s toolbox to reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes after the deaths of a married couple. Federal Estate Tax Exemption […]

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What is Surrogate’s Court in New York?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / August 3, 2022 / 0 Comments

Surrogate’s Court hears cases involving the affairs of decedents, the probate of wills, and the administration of estates. The Surrogate’s Court also handles certain types of guardianship petitions and adoptions. Every county in the State of New York has a Surrogate’s Court. When a person dies with a Will (testate), the nominated executor must file […]

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What steps should I take with my loved one’s estate and my own planning?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / July 20, 2022 / 0 Comments

Whenever a loved one passes, especially one that was depended on, it is often difficult for one to even consider the next steps, yet alone know what those steps are. To start, there will be two professionals you’ll want to seek professional advice from. One is a Trust and Estates Attorney who can help review […]

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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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