Probate and Estates

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Do Bank Accounts Have to Go Through Probate?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / January 7, 2021 / 0 Comments

Whether a bank account must go through probate depends on how the account was held – jointly or in the decedent’s sole name. Like real property, bank accounts can be owned in many ways. If the Account Is Held Jointly If a bank account is held jointly between two or more parties, there is usually […]

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Estate and Gift Tax Update for 2021

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / December 2, 2020 / 0 Comments

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) increased the federal estate tax exclusion amount for decedents dying in years 2018 to 2025. The exclusion amount for 2021 is $11.7 million. This means that an individual can leave $11.7 million and a married couple can leave $23.4 million dollars to their heirs or beneficiaries […]

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Does an Executor have to provide an accounting to beneficiaries?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / November 16, 2020 / 0 Comments

As fiduciary you are required to account to the beneficiaries, but the type of accounting will vary depending upon the actual beneficiaries and the fiduciary’s relationship with them. There are two types of accounting: informal and judicial accounting. Informal Accounting Typically, the least expensive and fastest way for a fiduciary to account is to prepare […]

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Protecting Assets in the Context of a Guardianship Proceeding

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / November 14, 2020 / 0 Comments

While the best elder law and estate plan is to have a valid health care proxy naming agents and a valid durable power of attorney naming an agent to make financial decisions, not everyone has done the proper planning.  It is not uncommon for an elderly person to fall ill, be hospitalized and then need […]

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How to Resign or Decline Being the Executor of a Will

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / October 22, 2020 / 0 Comments

Question: My aunt recently passed away and I just found out that I was named executor of her Will. I really do not want to serve. Is renunciation an option; can I decline or resign from being executor? Answer: Just because you are nominated as executor of a Will does not mean that you must […]

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Who Would Inherit From an Estate if Someone Dies Without a Will?

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / October 22, 2020 / 0 Comments

Question: Who would inherit from an estate if someone dies without a will? Answer: Passing away without a will is known as dying “intestate”.  Administration is the process in which letters are issued to a distributee of the decedent who then collects the decedent’s assets, pays the decedent’s debts and then distributes the remaining assets […]

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Avoiding Probate with an Affidavit

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / September 14, 2020 / 0 Comments

When someone in New York State dies with a small amount of money, the family may be able to avoid probate by using a “1310”, or small estate affidavit. This affidavit may be used by certain family members or the decedent’s creditors to collect assets up to a certain value in the decedent’s sole name. […]

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Ancillary Probate: What it is and How to Avoid it

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / September 11, 2020 / 0 Comments

Question:  My mother is a resident of Florida and owns a condominium and several financial accounts in her sole name. She also owns a summer home in New York that is titled in her sole name.  If she were to pass away, what is the procedure to transfer the New York home after her death? […]

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Probate Estate v. Gross Estate

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / August 11, 2020 / 0 Comments

Question:  Someone told me that assets with named beneficiaries are not subject to estate tax, is that correct? Answer: No, that is not correct.  Your “gross taxable estate,” meaning the assets that are subject to estate tax, consists of all of the assets which you have an interest in at death, even if those “non-probate” […]

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Bonding of an Estate Fiduciary

By Burner Law Group, P.C. / July 25, 2020 / 0 Comments

Question: I was recently appointed Administrator of my uncle’s estate, but the Decree from the Surrogate’s Court said that I must post a bond. What does that mean? Answer:  It is fairly common that the fiduciary of an estate may receive notice that the he or she must be bonded in order to complete the […]

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