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Saturday, May 25, 2019

It's been 3 years since my father's death and I have not received a penny from my sister who was the appointed Executor! Should I compel an accounting?


After an Executor gets appointed in an Estate, the Executor must fulfill his duties by timely marshalling of all assets, paying all known creditors and distributing the remaining money to beneficiaries. While this is what is supposed to happen, quite often it does not.


When should you petition the court to compel an Accounting by an Executor? You can do so when you believe that Executor has withheld information, or has engaged in some sort of wrongdoing (such as self-dealing or asset mismanagement). Stealing funds from the estate, selling estate property for an artificially low price, or not distributing any money for years are all good reasons to petition the court.


Who may petition the court to compel an accounting? SPCA 2205 lists individuals and entities who may petition.


Read more . . .


Saturday, May 18, 2019

How Can I Become an Administrator or an Executor of an Estate?


Probate or Administration: In New York, if the decedent had a Will and had assets that did not pass by operation of law (such as joint property with rights of survivorship or accounts with beneficiary designations), then the Will must be "probated" and an Executor must be appointed. If the decedent did not have a Will and had assets that did not pass by operation by law, then an Administrator must be appointed.

Who can file a Petition: In order to bring a petition of Probate or Administration to court, you must have standing. If the decedent had a Will, then the nominated Executor will be the one filing the petition. If there is no Will, then SCPA 1001 determines who has priority in becoming the Administrator of the Estate.

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 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, April 29, 2018

Seniors are one of the fastest growing demographics that is interested in medical marijuana

Medical marijuana may help with a variety of age-related illnesses, including  arthritis, insomnia, and pain.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Why do people choose assisted suicide?


The idea of doctor-assisted suicide has been growing in popularity in recent years. Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland have legalized voluntary euthanasia.  Australia, France, South Africa and United Kingdom are considering similar measures. In the United States, five states have legalized physician assisted suicide via legislation (California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) and one state has legal physician assisted suicide via court ruling (Montana).

According to several recent studies, the reason patients gave for ending their live had to do more with psychological suffering and not physical ones.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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.

Dementia patients often experience confusion: about events, facts, and what's happening around them. They may not completely understand what time it is. This can make it difficult for them to pick up on environmental cues that help them figure out when it's nighttime and time to go to sleep.


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 . . .


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Imagine your family at peace: How to Have Crucial Conversations with Your Loved Ones about End-of-Life issues


Talking about end of life issues with a loved one who is already sick is difficult. Your loved one may not be thinking clearly, may be in pain, and everyone is likely to be very emotional. That’s why it’s important to have this conversation early, while everyone is thinking clearly. A plan is likely to be empowering for all involved.

A parent may be resistant to receiving care and having crucial conversations with you because she is afraid of losing her way of life, losing privacy, getting old, not having sufficient financial assets, being a burden, having her money taken away from her, being thrown into a nursing home and dying.


Read more . . .


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