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Katya Sverdlov Blog

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Was your aunt unduly influenced by her neighbor when she transferred her house to him?


Issue of undue influence comes up often in the context of contested probate proceedings. A relative dies, and when the heirs start going through the estate of the dearly beloved, it turns out that there is not much left. Apparently 3 months before her death the aunt transferred her $2MM Manhattan apartment to a next door neighbor. And she named that same neighbor as a beneficiary on her $1MM IRA account and on her $500K life insurance policy. The question then arises – were these transfers made out of free will or were these the result of undue influence?

Undue influence requires a finding that a person was restrained from acting independently, or was constrained to do that which was against her free will and desire.
Read more . . .


Monday, February 26, 2018

How to Talk to an Aging Unsafe Driver


Driving is one of the most sensitive topics for caregivers of elderly. Driving is all about independence and it is one of the most emotional things for a senior to give up. Furthermore, it is hard to get around most of US without a car. So giving up your driving will almost always mean a need for relocation to a different type of living environment, which means leaving your home.

There are different signs and warnings that alert you that an elderly driver is having difficulty.
Read more . . .


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Spell the name of the Witness to Your Will


In New York, every Will must be witnessed by at least two witnesses. When the Will gets probated in Surrogate Court, the names of the Witnesses must be listed on the Probate Petition. Therefore, the Executor of the Will has a real problem when the signatures of the Witnesses are illegible and no other information about them is available.

When the Witnesses were the Testator’s friends, it may be possible to figure out their names based on familiarity with the Testator. Even then, there are usually other problems that arise when the Testator executed his Will without a lawyer.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Revising Your Will Based on Changes in Law and Changes in Facts


It is important to revisit your documents at least once every 5 years. As the tax law changes constantly, the documents created in the past may no longer be the most efficient ones. As your family situation changes, your Will may become completely outdated.

Changes in Law

In the past, estate tax threshold used to be $1MM. Anything above that amount would be taxed at 40%.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How to Help Dementia Patients Sleep Better With a Bedtime Routine


How to Help Dementia Patients Sleep Better With a Bedtime Routine

Sleep routines are essential for maintaining healthy sleep habits. This is true at any age and ability, but especially for dementia patients.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Planning for a Childless Couple


There are different motivations for living child-free. Some couples focus on careers, travel or hobbies. Others see children as a burdensome financial obligation. Yet others are unable to have children. Regardless of reasons, planning for a childless couple may be somewhat different than for a couple with children (no need for guardians for minors), but just as important.
Read more . . .


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Simple Steps You Can Take Now to Protect Your Assets


As discussed in the previous article, there are very few of your assets that are protected from creditors in the event of a lawsuit. There are some simple steps that you can take to address your asset’s vulnerability to attacks by creditors.

  1. Buy insurance. You should have a liability insurance policy on your car, on your home, on your business, and an umbrella policy.

  2. Review ownership of assets.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What Assets are Protected from Creditors?

Regardless of the President that is sitting in the Oval Office, the litigious nature of our society is not going to change.  There are many instances in which a client can be sued, including but not limited to: injuring someone in a car accident, being sued for malpractice, involvement in a business dispute, or owning a rental property in which someone was injured.

Certain assets are exempt from creditors as a matter of public policy:


Read more . . .


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Second Marriages: Causes of Family Strife!

When spouses divorce, there are often children left from first marriage. When one of the spouses remarries, he should be very careful that the children from the first marriage do not get disinherited.

The second spouse, who is often much younger and less financially secure, may exert pressure on her husband to provide for her in the event of his death.  The second spouse may have new children, whom the father sees on a daily basis. Simultaneously, the remarried husband may not see the children from first marriage as often (due to geography or ill-feelings from both sides).


Read more . . .


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to make a statement after you are dead

Most people want to leave a legacy. Yet most people also have no idea how to go about doing it.  One simple way is through a life insurance policy.


Read more . . .


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Planning for a Pet

Animals shelters often see beloved pets suddenly homeless because of the death of their owners and failure to plan properly. And while there may be more people willing to rescue a dog, but what about a horse or a lizard?

One way of planning properly for the care of a pet is to leave some designated money for the benefit of a shelter, to be used specifically in the care of your pet. This way, if anyone adopts the pet, the shelter can use the money to reimburse the new owner for the pet’s care. Of course, you should carefully research the shelter and ensure that they agree to this type of a plan.


Read more . . .


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