Estate planning for married couples

Many married couples in New York assume that they do not need to write a will. Couples believe that when one spouse dies, everything will simply be passed to the surviving spouse. While this is in some cases true, these matters can be much more complicated when a couple has children. To ensure that there are no disputes between family members, it is always important for people to state their intentions clearly in a Read More

How to choose an executor

One task that is often underestimated or ignored during the preparation of a will is the task of selecting an executor. A New York testator may believe that the person that has been chosen is qualified for the role, but that is not always the case. In some cases, the executor of a will is not even told ahead of time that he or she has been chosen to do so. When choosing an executor , it may be a good idea to Read More

Estate matters for those who have never married

A New York resident who has a spouse and children might pay close attention to estate matters, especially in case of major changes to their financial or family situation. However, those who have never married may not worry as much about estate planning due to the fact that there aren't dependents. The reality is that anyone who has assets should think about creating an estate plan to ensure that their wishes are Read More

Executing an estate over $5.43 million

The administration of a wealthy person's estate in New York is a big undertaking. Executors must be aware of the current estate tax laws, and they must determine which IRS forms they are obligated to complete with the deceased person's final tax filing. Right now, an estate is considered taxable by the federal government if its assets are worth $5.43 million or more. The $5.43 million exclusion amount is indexed Read More

New York neighbors face probate fee hikes of up to 1000 percent

New York residents unhappy with their tax burden may wish to spare a thought for some of their neighbors. Connecticut has raised several state taxes and fees to bridge large budget gaps, and the increases have been implemented retroactively to Jan. 1, 2015. Among the most contentious tax and fee hikes are changes to the probate fee structure that have led to tenfold increases in fees for many estates. While many Read More

Using digital document archives for estate planning

Digital document archives are becoming popular among people in New York who are planning their estates. Sites like Everplans, Principled Heart and AfterSteps provide a platform where people can easily store digital versions of estate planning documents like wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives. Digital archives can also house important financial information and personal assets like photos. Read More

Robin Williams’ family settles property dispute

New York residents have likely heard about the ongoing legal battle between the wife of the late actor Robin Williams and Williams' three adult children from previous marriages. After Williams committed suicide in 2014, his widow claimed that items from the home she shared with him had been taken without her permission. In December, she filed a petition asking the court to exclude the items in the home from the Read More

The responsibilities of an executor named in a will

Naming an executor is one of the most important estate planning decisions that New York residents have to make. When someone is asked to serve as an executor of a testator's will, it is important for the person to understand the responsibilities that they might be taking on. If those who are asked feel that they are too disorganized or ignorant about financial matters, they might want to say no to being an Read More

Houston and Brown families fighting over Bobbi Kristina’s estate

Many New York residents have heard about the ongoing dispute over the estates of Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Kristina. Both the Houston and Brown families are reportedly fighting over what happens to Houston's estate. According to a report, members of Whitney Houston's family are named as the legal inheritors of Bobbi Kristina's wealth; however, reports also note that Bobby Brown's family wants to inherit Read More

The advantages of a revocable trust

New York residents may think they need a will, but they might want to consider setting up a revocable trust as well. A revocable trust has a number of advantages over a will for managing most of an individual's assets. Probate of a will can be expensive and time-consuming, and a revocable trust can prevent that. Furthermore, a co-trustee of a revocable trust can handle the administration if the grantor becomes Read More