Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

2022 Updates to Estate and Gift Taxes

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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What if co-trustees do not agree?

A trustee manages and distributes assets in a trust. A trustee can be is an individual or a financial institution. At times, clients may choose to name two or more individuals as co-trustees in their trust document to perform these duties together. Appointing co-trustees encourages an extra degree of deliberation when making distribution decisions or…

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How do you start an Article 81 discovery and turnover proceeding?

The purpose of an Article 81 discovery and turnover proceeding is to recover assets taken from an incapacitated person. The threshold question in an Article 81 Guardianship is whether there is a need for a guardian. After the court makes that determination, the alleged incapacitated person must either consent to the appointment or be deemed…

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Does my trust need an Employer Identification Number (“EIN”)?

Whether your trust requires its own EIN depends on the type of trust that you have. An EIN, also known as a federal tax ID number, is a nine-digit number that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) assigns to identify an entity for tax reporting purposes. An EIN functions like a social security number. Generally, revocable…

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How does Medicaid deal with a life estate?

For New Yorkers receiving benefits under the long-term care Medicaid program, a life estate is a strategic estate planning tool. Maintaining a life estate can ensure that your home passes to your intended loved ones after your death. A life estate is created through a properly drafted and recorded deed or using an Irrevocable Medicaid…

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How much is an executor paid?

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

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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What is a contingent beneficiary?

A comprehensive estate plan maps out every possible contingency. The most obvious reason to do an estate plan is to make sure that your assets pass to whomever you choose at your death. You designate specific “beneficiaries” to inherit your assets. This includes real property, financial accounts, and meaningful personal belongings. Not only should your…

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We’re lighting up for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

At Burner Law Group, P.C., we hold many important causes near and dear to our hearts. Join us as we light up our Westhampton Beach office pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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How do you expand powers in an Article 81 Guardianship?

Article 81 of New York’s Mental Hygiene Law allows a court to appoint a guardian to manage the personal and/or financial affairs of an individual deemed incapacitated. The court must find that the alleged incapacitated person (“AIP”) cannot appreciate the nature and consequences of their inability to handle such matters and that the AIP is…

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