Powerless Power of Attorney

by Salvatore M. Di Costanzo, Esq., and Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. Regardless of whether your estate plan is basic or complex, it is important to review the plan every few years for reasons that include life events and changes in laws and/or regulations. Life Events Estate plans can change drastically upon the occurrence of certain…

Elder Law Answers - Do I need a Last Will and Testament if I designate Beneficiaries for all of my Assets?

Co-Authored by Joanna C. Feldman Many people ask whether – or even why – they need a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) if they designate beneficiaries to inherit their assets upon their death. In some cases, designating beneficiaries on all assets may be appropriate. In other cases, however, unintended complications can arise. In all cases,…

Gift Tax

How much can I gift each year? Most people think you can only gift $15,000.00 per recipient in 2019.  You might be surprised to hear that you can gift a lot more than that.  You might be saying, “I thought the annual federal gift tax exclusion is $15,000.00”.  While you are correct, it is important…

First and foremost, I recommend that you have an open discussion with your family about the disposition of your remains. These are very sensitive issues and there is no substitute for a well- informed family. New York State law, however, does provide a mechanism for you to express your wishes in writing. Section 4201 of…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman This question was recently asked at an event we hosted during which we discussed strategies to leave a legacy after death.  A Medicaid Trust is an irrevocable trust used to protect assets should one need nursing home care and seek Medicaid to help cover the cost.  Because assets in a Medicaid…

Change is inevitable, and it comes in many shapes and sizes.  Death, disability, and divorce are three of the most common changes in life that can wreak havoc on an estate plan.  If your estate plan is not flexible, there could be unintended consequences.  With the increasing popularity of revocable trusts, whether drafted by attorneys…

While I cannot say whether there are mistakes in your estate planning documents, the wording of your document may be confusing to you as a non-attorney. Legal documents contain a great deal of legalese.  For purposes of this response, I am assuming that you are leaving all of your assets to your children.  First, it…

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,…

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…

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…

This is Attorney Advertising. This web site is designed for general information only.
The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons