In many cases, a divorce is a traumatic experience for both parties. Usually, neither party has given any thought to the unintended consequences of death or disability during divorce. Until there is a final decree or judgment of separation or divorce, each party remains the spouse of the other. Upon the death of one party,…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman This is a question that often comes up in the midst of the grief of losing a loved one.  The thought of having to deal with bureaucracy, attorneys and Courts can be overwhelming. The first step is to determine – to the extent that you’re able – whether your sister…

Actually, yes!  When someone dies, the first step is to determine if the decedent owned any assets individually, meaning there were assets with no joint owner or designated beneficiary.  A very common fact pattern is where a surviving spouse dies owning a house.  Once it is determined that individually owned assets exist, someone needs to…

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay money that you owe.

This is a very common issue with revocable trusts and it results from not respecting the formalities of the trust. In order for a revocable trust to work as intended, that is, to avoid probate, your assets must be transferred to the trust.  For instance, if you own a house, the deed needs to be…

Assuming by your question that you are a beneficiary of your parent’s estate, you are entitled to certain information.  For instance, where the Estate is not required to file an estate tax return, an Executor must file an Inventory of Assets with the Court within six months of his appointment.  Where the Executor is prepared…

The answer to this question is dependent on the County you live in.  Regardless, the probate process can take quite some time and delay the distribution of assets to your heirs. The probate process begins by retaining us to prepare certain documents that must be filed with the Surrogate’s Court in the County where the…

Grandparents may be tempted to leave an IRA to a grandchild because children have a low tax rate, but the “kiddie tax” could make doing this less beneficial.

An integral part of our practice involves planning with the assets of individuals who are disabled or have special needs. These individuals are usually persons who have developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, or who suffer from other severe and chronic or persistent disabilities. We commonly refer to these individuals as supplemental needs beneficiaries and the primary…

Whether your spouse has just passed away or you have lost your mom or dad, the emotional trauma of losing a loved one often comes with a bewildering array of financial and legal issues demanding attention.

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