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Recent Blog Posts

The Complications of Probating Large Estates

Individuals and couples with very large estates face a number of complications during the probate process. Common issues that arise include: Gathering assets. The executor of a person’s will is responsible for gathering assets for probate. This process is more complicated when there are many types of assets titled in different ways such as property… Read More »

How Do I Transfer Property in My Mom’s Name After Her Death?

When a loved one passes away, the emotional rollercoaster you experience is compounded by the paperwork and legal formalities that need to be finalized. Transferring property that once belonged to your parent into your name is a common challenge that arises at this time. The way you transfer property after the death of a loved… Read More »

The Responsibilities of an Executor

Actor Cory Monteith, well-known for playing heartthrob Finn Hudson in the popular TV series Glee, died unexpectedly in June of this year at only age 31. Little has been reported about the future of Mr. Monteith’s estate, estimated as being worth some $2 million. This tragedy underlines the importance of having a will in place…. Read More »

How to Deal With the Unexpected

Each year, the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy reminds us how fragile life is and how quickly tragedy can strike. The unexpected death of a loved one is a personal tragedy that affects people deeply and permanently. Learning of a loved one’s untimely passing can make people feel lost and overwhelmed. Stages Of Grief In… Read More »

Five Ways the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 May Affect Your Estate

The American Tax Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), which took effect earlier this year, contains a number of provisions that may affect your estate plan. Following are highlights of five of the ATRA’s most significant changes: The tax rate. The federal estate and gift tax rate is now capped at 40 percent. The exemption. Years… Read More »

The Nursing Home Private Pay Charge-to-Medicaid Reimbursement Ratio

A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running. – Groucho Marx Alexis Rodriguez, an unemployed doorman, expected he would get a hospital bill after his three-week hospitalization for pneumonia at New York’s Bronx-Lebanon hospital.  He almost had an asthma attack when the bill that arrived was for more than $44 million. In… Read More »

Advanced Health Care Directives

The New York Times reports that as the great anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition, his family is facing some very difficult decisions regarding his end-of-life care, particularly whether or not to continue life support. You can make it easier on your family by establishing some guidelines for them to follow by preparation… Read More »

The Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is one of the most significant and controversial pieces of legislation to have been passed for many years. Despite numerous legal challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court has generally ruled that the legislation is constitutional. However, in a recent case, the Court held that states may opt out… Read More »

Planning the Right Gift

There are many ways of making gifts to family members and to charities and, if the gift is done right, you may be able to avoid taxes. Here are just a few ideas to discuss with your estate planning attorney: Annual exclusion gifts There is no gift tax on gifts that do not exceed a… Read More »

The Roman Blum Estate: Who Will Have the Last Laugh?

New York real estate developer Roman Blum was a Holocaust survivor, whose first wife and son died in the war. His second wife, who passed away in 1992, was infertile as a result of Joseph Mengele’s medical experiments in the concentration camps. Roman Blum died alone and childless. He also died with an estate of… Read More »