Will of widow of DC Comics publisher contested by her son

A New York lawyer and a business manager have been accused of improperly influencing an elderly woman in an attempt to misappropriate a larger portion of her will. As the woman in question was the widow of the famous comic book publisher Jack Liebowitz, the proceedings have been of some public interest. The woman passed away on April 24, 2013. The woman's son has filed a suit in New York County Surrogate's Court Read More

Estate planning errors to avoid

Individuals in New York who are estate planning should keep in mind that there are a number of common errors that people make with their wills, trusts and other documents and accounts. One of these errors is making an estate plan and failing to return to it for revisions. Such changes as children, marriages, deaths and divorces may result in a needed update, so estate plans should be periodically reviewed. Read More

Estate planning tips for New York newlyweds

When two people get married, some estate planning actions should be taken as soon as possible. For instance, it may be worthwhile to put sizable assets into a trust and to ensure that the assets in the trust are properly titled. If the assets are not properly titled, they may have to go through the probate process. An easy action that newlyweds can take is to change the beneficiaries on 401Ks and other accounts Read More

Circumstances necessitating changes to a will or estate plan

New York residents who have prepared a will may know that a divorce, a remarriage or the death of a spouse will likely necessitate an evaluation of that document. In some circumstances, a will cannot be simply changed but must be completely revoked in order to be considered valid by a probate court. A divorce is a circumstance that necessitates a complete revocation of a person's will. In fact, a will's Read More

Contesting a will during probate

As many New Yorkers may know, leaving a will when an individual dies is one way to assure that certain beneficiaries will inherit what the testator wished. Generally, the document goes through probate successfully. However, there are times that wills are challenged. This occurs most often when an individual believes that it does not express the testator's wishes for a variety of reasons. Some reasons a will is Read More

Are holographic wills valid in New York?

In the state of New York, a holographic will may be considered valid only under certain circumstances. A holographic will is a will that is handwritten and not executed in accordance with state law. The holographic will is valid if created by a member of the armed services during actual military or naval service. It may also be valid if the testator accompanies an armed force during actual armed conflict. Read More

What is a living will and do I need one?

While most people in New York may have heard of living wills, it may not be clear exactly what they are and how they differ from other wills. While a person's regular will discusses how their assets are to be handled after their death, a living will, by contrast, deals with major health care decisions while the person is still living. Living wills are legal documents through which people can outline what care and Read More

Trusts and estate plans

While some people with very simple estates may not need to set up a trust, trusts can be a useful tool for many different people in New York who are in the process of estate planning. People who have a net worth of $100,000 and who have a sizable portion of assets held in real estate, art or business may benefit by using a trust. Some people want to direct that their assets be provided at different times Read More

Requirements for New York wills to be properly executed

Wills in New York must meet several criteria before they are executed properly by a probate court. First and foremost, they must be in writing rather than in the form of oral testimony. A will must be signed by the one who wrote it or by a person in his or her presence and at his or her direction. A person who signs for the one who wrote the will does not count as a witness to the will execution . At least two Read More

Charitable trusts in New York

Some people in New York might wish to set up a charitable trust so they can donate assets and income earned through it to various designated charities. It is important when people are wanting to set up a trust for this function that they do it in such a way as to avoid potential tax implications. The IRS tax code provides that a charitable trust is not a charitable organization, and thus any income the trust Read More