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Katya Sverdlov Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Main Reasons Why Families Fight Over Estates

1. Location of Siblings. It is often the case that one sibling provides care and support for an aging parent, while other siblings are distant (either physically or psychologically). While the local sibling provides support, that same sibling may also control the parent’s finances. The same sibling may also bring the parent to an attorney to get his affairs in order.


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Monday, February 6, 2017

Top 3 Estate Battles of 2016

In 2016, several well-known families had well-publicized fights about estates. These disputes should teach everyone to plan while one has capacity!

Prince

Pop artist Prince died in April 2016 without a Will. Since his death, at least 30 individuals have come forward, claiming to be Prince’s children, spouses, or half-sibling. As of this writing, the judge on the case dismissed most of these claims. It looks like the estate, valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, will be split amongst Prince’s younger sister and five half-siblings (pending the final results of genetic testing).


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Friday, February 3, 2017

Do your plans for 2017 include estate planning? Below are 5 tips to consider!

  1. Schedule a family meeting to discuss your assets and your wishes with them. Create an inventory of your assets and share it with your family. Don’t leave your family in the position of scrambling in their search for documents and assets in the future!
  2. Consider giving your children and your spouse passwords to your digital assets and email accounts: Your email may contain a lot of important information.


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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Are you at risk to have your Will invalidated?

A Will execution has many formalities - ensure that your attorney actually knows them!

Most people think that writing and signing a Will is easy. I often hear from friends "Any attorney can do it", or better yet "It's so easy, I don't need an attorney, I will do it myself".

Well, do so at your own peril. Remember that the content of your Will is only half of the calculation for getting a Will probated, since Wills can and often do get invalidated based on improper execution, particularly when the Will is executed without an attorney being present. The latest case in point: Matter of Costello, 136 A.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Financial Crimes Against the Elderly


Elderly people are vulnerable to fraud and financial abuse. The reasons are multiple: isolation, weakening mental and physical condition, memory loss and lack of knowledge about today's markets and technology.
According to New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, only 1 out of 44 cases of financial abuse Is reported, usually because the victim is too ashamed to report the incident. Even in 2010, an estimated cost of financial exploitation against the seniors was $2.9 billion.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Can you adopt an adult in New York?


Sometimes adults get adopted. Even though most adults no longer need a parent to make legal and financial decisions for them, adult adoptions still happen for other reasons.

The main reason for adult adoption is usually inheritance. If a person is not related to you biologically or legally, if there is no Will, then the person will not inherit your money. Of course, this issue can often be easily resolved by writing a Will and naming that specific person in the Will.


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Don't live an isolated life (and help seniors in your life to connect)


It's a New Year. People are trying to fulfill their new resolutions about money,  weight loss and projects.

I would suggest a resolution about friends.

It is well known that seniors who are isolated are more likely to be sick and depressed. We all need companions, if only to complain to about our health and current politics.


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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Buy / Sell Agreements


What are these agreements? These are absolutely crucial both to start ups and to existing businesses where there is more than one owner involved. This document outlines the relationship between the owners, assigns roles and responsibilities, shows the ownership percentage of the business and outlines what happens when the owners need to part ways.

There are many reasons why owners may need to leave the business. Some are voluntary (sale of ownership ). Others are not voluntary: death, disability, personal bankruptcy, divorce, forced termination of owner's employment by the company and irreconcilable differences between the owners.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Protecting Your Estate Starts with a Prenuptial (or a Postnuptial) Agreement


The rate of second and third marriages in the United States continues to increase. Each spouse may bring children, assets, heirlooms, and very specific wishes into the new marriage. Some want their children to inherit the bulk of the assets. Others want specific heirlooms (painting / jewelry / watch) to be passed down to specific people. Relationships within the extended family can deteriorate very fast.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Why would you want a Nevada Trust?


New York has a very strong policy against self-settled trusts. A self-settled trust is one where the Grantor transfers assets to an irrevocable trust but remains one of the Trust’s beneficiaries. While these transfers are legal, New York believes that they are “void as against creditors”. As a result, if the Grantor remains a beneficiary of this type of Trust in New York, his assets are not protected against creditors.

Nevada, however, together with approximately 12 other states, permits these types of trusts and protects the assets against creditors.
Read more . . .


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Joint Revocable Trusts vs. Parallel Documents (cost saving vs. peace of mind)


Joint Revocable Trust: Lots of spouses opt to create a joint revocable trust. It makes a lot of sense to do so for many people: First, a lot of assets are owned jointly, so it can be an extra hassle to separate them. Second, the kids are common, so the bequest of assets after death will be common. Third, there is little chance of divorce, so there is no need to separate the assets. Last, there estate is below the federal tax threshold, so the actual ownership may not matter.


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