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Katya Sverdlov Blog

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Removing the Executor of the Estate


Can one remove the executor or the administrator of the estate? The process is not easy, but it has been done multiple times. Below are several common grounds for removal:



•     Self-dealing. This means that the Executor of the Estate acts in the best interests of himself, instead of the interests of the creditors and the beneficiaries of the estate. It may include purchasing a house owned by the Estate at an artificially low price. Or it may include paying themself a high salary from the estate, without prior court approval.


Read more . . .


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Can You Be Rich and Still Qualify for Medicaid?


Why do people want to qualify for Medicaid in the first place? Because, even though this knowledge may come as a shocking surprise, neither Medicare nor any supplemental insurance coverage policies pay for long term care. Long term care includes home care services and nursing home services. When paid for privately, the cost of long term care runs to approximately $150K-$200K in New York.


But can one qualify for Medicaid without being poor? In New York, the answer is surprisingly yes. When determining one's eligibility, for a person over 65 years of age, Medicaid evaluates both assets and income.


Read more . . .


Saturday, April 27, 2019

6 Ways to Coordinate Your Estate Planning with Your Financial Advisor


Essential components of every estate plan, regardless of client's net worth, include a Will, a Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Proxy. Some circumstances require the use of a Trust (for the purposes of special needs planning, asset protection, Medicaid/elder care planning, estate tax mitigation, and probate avoidance). Those with potentially taxable estates may consider strategies such as gifting, annuity trusts, charitable trusts, life insurance trusts, personal residence trusts, installment sales and promissory notes.


A financial advisor should work together with your attorney to figure out the plan that is most appropriate for your individual situation. Since most people see their financial advisors more frequently than their attorneys, it falls to the financial advisor to oversee that the plan developed with the attorney is actually implemented and remains appropriate.


Read more . . .


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Joint Bank Accounts in New York: A Confusion of Law and Intent


Many individuals who open a joint bank account in New York are completely unaware of the legal and tax implications associated with these types of accounts. This is quite ironic, given that joint accounts are often opened to simplify inheritance matters, not to complicate them.


There are two presumptions associated with joint accounts, under NYBL 675:


1. Moiety Rule: When a deposit is made into a joint bank account in the name of the depositor and another person, each account holder is granted an immediate and unconditional one-half interest in the deposited funds.


2.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ways to Pay for Long-Term Care


A good friend of mine and a wonderful specialist is hosting a Free Webinar:


Ways to Pay for Long-Term Care

Cynthia Perthuis, Elder Care Strategist and head of the New York office of Senior Care Authority, will offer valuable insights and tips in this free session on how to be strategic about planning for long-term care. Followed by Q & A.
When: Thursday, April 18
Time: 1 PM to 2 PM
Cost: FREE

 To register, click on the link below. 

https://zoom.
Read more . . .


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Adoption Ends Inheritance Rights of Biological Family


Once a person is adopted (either as a child or as an adult) all inheritance rights of the biological family of the decedent are terminated.


In the past, prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, many partners in same-sex relationships adopted each other, to create a legal recognition of the relationship. Adoption also happens often during second marriages, when one biological parent has either died or abandoned the child. Adoption also frequently happens now by grandparents adopting their own grandchildren, whom they are raising full time, because the biological parents are either in jail or addicted to drugs.


When adoption happens, all past biological relationship is terminated for the purpose of inheritance.


Read more . . .


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Presumption of Revocation of Lost Will is Not Easy to Overcome


You must be very careful to store your Will properly, otherwise, if it cannot be found, the court is likely to consider it revoked and your assets will be distributed in accordance with intestacy rules.


In recent case In Re Scollan (2018), in which a valid Will could not be found, the court ruled that a presumption of revocation of the Will was not overcome.


There is a strong presumption that a Will known to be in the decedent's possession that cannot be located after the decedent's death was destroyed by the decedent with the intent to revoke. The retention of a copy of the Will by the decedent's attorney, decedent's statements regarding testamentary intentions, and suspicion that the Will was fraudulently destroyed (without supporting facts and circumstances) are not sufficient to overcome the presumption.


If you are afraid that your Will is at risk of being lost or destroyed (due to memory issues, the behavior of omitted beneficiaries, or any other reason), then your Will should be stored either in your attorney's office, a safe deposit box, or with a trusted friend.


Read more . . .


Saturday, March 23, 2019

7 Tips for Keeping Trusts Flexible in a Rapidly Changing World

One hundred years ago there were no commercial airplanes, women couldn't vote, the average family had 5 children, divorce was rare, children born outside of marriage had no inheritance rights, and surrogacy was virtually unheard of. In 2019 we have same-sex marriage, flexible gender identity, assisted reproductive technologies, digital assets, cryptocurrencies and an epidemic of lonely seniors. What will our society be like in 20 years?  The pace of change is increasing, so while you draft your documents today, make sure that these documents are sufficiently flexible to adapt to our unknown future.  


Read more . . .


Saturday, March 16, 2019

A To-do List To Protect The Identity Of A Loved One Who Passed Away

Unfortunately, identity theft is rampant and it doesn’t only involve the living.  

Here's an important checklist to ensure you aren't made vulnerable.


Read more . . .


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes That Everyone Can Learn From

James Gandolfini: No Need to Pay Extra Taxes

The actor and producer most renowned for his role as mafia boss Tony Soprano left only 20% of the estate to his wife. The remainder was left to his children, friends, and relatives. Since his estate was above the estate tax threshold, the result was that approximately 55% of the estate's money went to pay the taxes and fees! 

He could have avoided this onerous payment. It would have been done by gifting assets during life, leaving more money to his wife directly (there is an unlimited marital deduction for a US citizen spouse) or by setting up a specialized trust which gave income for life to his spouse but left her with no control to dispose of the assets upon her death. 

Either way, with proper planning, millions of taxes could have been avoided. 


Read more . . .


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Sverdlov Law's practice focuses on estate planning, probate and estate administration, Medicaid planning, elder law, and business succession matters.



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