Probate and Estates

What Every Spouse Needs to Know About Estate Taxes

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / September 20, 2021 / 0 Comments

The changing estate tax landscape makes it more important than ever for accountants and executors to file a federal estate tax return for portability when one spouse passes away. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion for decedents dying between 2018 and 2025. The estate tax exemption […]

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Can a Trustee be Removed for Ignoring the Beneficiary?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / September 13, 2021 / 0 Comments

Removing a Trustee is not easy. Removal of a Trustee takes more than a disagreement or general mistrust of the fiduciary to have him or her removed. General unresponsiveness is not a ground, on its own, for removal. New York’s Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 719 lists several grounds for the removal of a Trustee. […]

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Do Grandchildren Have Inheritance Rights?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / September 1, 2021 / 0 Comments

Grandchildren do not have automatic inheritance rights except under certain circumstances. In New York, the most common scenario where a grandchild may inherit is when a grandparent passes away without a Will and the grandchild’s parent is no longer living. This intestate succession is controlled by statute and passes down the bloodline. Pursuant to the […]

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Is a Beneficiary of a Will Entitled to an Accounting?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / August 18, 2021 / 0 Comments

Any beneficiary of an estate is entitled to an accounting from the executor or administrator of the estate. This is true whenever assets  pass through Surrogate’s Court. The individual providing the accounting is the Executor appointed under a Will or the appointed Administrator when someone dies without a will. Of course, if no assets pass […]

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Letters of Trusteeship

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / August 11, 2021 / 0 Comments

“Letters of Trusteeship” is a court document giving the nominated trustee of a trust created under a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) the power to act. Such a trust is called a testamentary trust because it is created in a Will. When a Will is submitted to the Surrogate Court for probate, via the filing […]

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When Deathbed Gifts Cause Estate Litigation

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / July 9, 2021 / 0 Comments

A common issue that arises during the administration of an estate concerns assets that were transferred close to death. These transfers can be in the form of gifts or the creation of a joint tenancy or a beneficiary designation. For example, a parent may have transferred cash in a bank account to one child or […]

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Minimizing Estate Tax for Singles

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / June 23, 2021 / 0 Comments

Currently, the federal estate tax exemption is $11.7 million and the New York State estate tax exemption is $5.93 million. If no further action is taken by Congress, in 2025 the federal estate tax exemption will revert to the former $5 million, indexed for inflation. Accordingly, there is a unique planning opportunity now to transfer […]

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When is a Family Tree Affidavit Necessary?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / May 28, 2021 / 0 Comments

A family tree affidavit is an affidavit executed by a disinterested person to prove who a decedent’s distributees are. To be considered disinterested, the person must have no financial interest in the decedent’s estate. A distributee is a legal heir that would inherit from an estate, by law, if the decedent did not have a […]

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Don’t Just Deed it All Away

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / April 28, 2021 / 0 Comments

In general, when a person dies in New York, that person’s Last Will & Testament must be probated in Surrogate’s Court so that an Executor can be appointed to legally distribute assets. If there is no Will, an administration proceeding will be required and an administrator will be appointed to distribute the decedent’s assets according […]

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It Pays to be Married: an Explanation of the Unlimited Marital Deduction and Portability

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / April 16, 2021 / 0 Comments

It pays to tie the knot, at least according to the IRS. The unlimited marital deduction is a provision in the U.S. Estate and Gift Tax Law that allows individuals to transfer an unrestricted amount of assets to their spouse at any time, free from tax. The unlimited marital deduction is considered an estate preservation […]

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