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A Primer on Estate Tax Returns

By Stephanie L. Goldstein, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP When a resident of New York dies with a will in place, the nominated executor must file a petition to probate the will in the Surrogate’s Court to obtain authority to administer the decedent’s estate.  If a resident of New York dies without leaving a proper will, a petition must be filed in the Surrogate’s Court to appoint someone as administrator of …

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The Pitfalls of an Online Will

By Joel Krooks, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Many companies currently provide people with the opportunity to create a Last Will and Testament and other various legal documents online. These online Wills have various issues that can cause your estate to not be distributed as intended, can create excessive legal fees during the estate administration, and make life on your family and friends even more difficult after you pass away. I …

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The Impact of Blended Families on Estate Planning and Litigation

By Laura Brancato, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Comprehensive estate planning is essential for every adult. Your plan should address the needs of all your loved ones at your death, regardless of whether you are single, married or divorced. It is crucial however, to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney if you belong to a blended family. A blended family is one where the parents have children from previous relationships, …

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Plan Now to Minimize Impact of Estate and Gift Taxes

By Amy C. O’Hara, CELA It is essential for families with significant wealth to be aware of estate and gift tax limits. An important part of estate planning is making sure that as much of your wealth as possible goes to your heirs rather than to pay taxes. The good news is that both the federal and New York State estate tax exemptions have risen quite a bit over the …

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Changes To The Power of Attorney Regulations in New York State

By Laura Brancato, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Long awaited changes to the New York State Power of Attorney regulations were signed into law by Governor Cuomo on December 15, 2020. The bill, a major overhaul of the existing power of attorney legislation, will substantially change the format and enforceability of the current document in a few key ways. Most significantly, the power of attorney will be condensed from the current …

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The New York Probate Process

For many, creating a will is the first step in the estate planning process. However, many people are surprised to learn that, even with a will, the distribution of estate property is not always straightforward. In large part, this is due to the New York probate process. A will is a legal document in which a person outlines how they want their property distributed after their death. When someone who …

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New York’s Intestacy Laws Explained

As many as six out of every ten Americans have no estate planning documents in place in the event of their death. This shocking statistic, based on a Gallup poll of adults ages 18 and up, poses an excellent question, what will happen if you die without a will? Dying without a will or other estate plan is called dying intestate. The law varies from state to state but in …

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Can You Benefit From An Asset Protection Plan?

For business owners and professionals, legal liability is a major concern. By creating an asset protection plan, business owners and other professionals can restructure their assets to limit their risk of loss in the event of a lawsuit or other event. An asset protection plan uses legal means to remove assets from the reach of creditors without the risk of perjury, fraud or tax evasion. While anyone can employ an …

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By Stephanie Goldstein, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Community Medicaid is a needs-based government assistance program that provides long-term care benefits to individuals at home. To qualify, an applicant’s resources and income limits must fall below a determinative limit that is adjusted annually. For the year 2020, that limit is $15,750 for available (non-exempt) resources and $895 of income for a single individual. For those individuals with excess resources that would …

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The Five Responsibilities of an Executor

By Joel Krooks, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Estate Administration can be a very long and difficult process. It is important to choose the right person as the Executor of your Estate. The Executor is the person responsible for administering your estate. There are five main responsibilities of an Executor (1) Filing for Probate; (2) Marshalling Assets; (3) Determining Cash Needs; (4) Paying Reasonable Debts and Expenses and; (5) Distributing the …

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