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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 . . .


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Estate Planning for 21st Century Families: A Primer


As families continue to change and evolve, so do estate planning policies. In 2019, when we discuss estate planning, we must account for a broader definition of family than ever before. Here are several issues to look out for when planning for the future.

 

Marriage: The first issue concerns marriage; specifically, who is a Spouse and whether or not a person is legally married.  Legal  marriage is usually determined in accordance with  state law.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top 5 Estate Planning Hacks for 2019


1.    Most people in New York need not worry  about federal or state estate tax. In 2019, the federal estate tax exemption is now $11.42MM per person. The New York State estate tax exemption is now $5.
Read more . . .


Thursday, January 3, 2019

CryptoWills: What They Are and How They Work


More than 50% of the adults in the US do not have a Will. Most assume that that they do not have enough assets to bother with one, or that they will write one when they are older. Yet dying without a Will results is going to result in the person’s assets being divided in accordance with the state’s laws rather than the person’s own wishes. As a result, not having a Will leads to delays, expenses, and family battles, not to mention hours of headaches and paperwork..


Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

What to Know About Tax Implications of Buying, Owning, and Selling Cryptocurrency


 

Buying, owning and selling virtual currency is all subject to the IRS supervision and must be recorded and reported properly to avoid severe tax penalties.

1.      Characteristics: Virtual currencies are treated as property, as opposed to currency for federal income tax purposes. As a result, basic tax principles applicable to property transactions also apply to Bitcoin transactions.


2.
Read more . . .


Monday, December 10, 2018

Use free services to stay independent


There are plenty of free services available to seniors who want to remain living at home. 

Read this Guide from Harvard Medical School to find out if any of these resources can be helpful to you or your loved ones.
Read more . . .


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