When I meet with people for the first time who are interested in estate planning, their focus is usually on after-death planning.  Whether their concern is minimizing estate taxes, planning for minor or spendthrift children, or simply passing assets to the next generation as quickly and efficiently as possible, nearly every meeting begins with a…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman The truth is that very often, “elder law” attorney is a misnomer as it pertains to many of our clients.  For example, nearly everyone should have a comprehensive Power of Attorney. Some of our youngest clients have just become adults who come to us for a Power of Attorney before…

We have all heard the saying “life is full of regrets”.  I have compiled a list of the most common regrets that I often hear from clients, but more often, their family members, during my practicing as an elder law and special needs planning attorney.  If you have neglected any of these topics, my hope…

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…

Remember, the purpose of a revocable trust is to avoid probate and following fact patterns make it a necessity to use a revocable trust. Owning property outside of New York State If you own property outside of New York State in your individual name, a proceeding must be commenced in the other state to transfer…

You are never too young to draft your estate planning documents.  I am sure you would agree that anything can happen to anyone at any time.  There are several cases in my office that can be used for illustrative purposes. A few months ago, I was retained by the family of a 43-year-old male who…

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…

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