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Category Archives: Estate Administration

Understanding Estate Tax Thresholds

George Steinbrenner had great timing. He was born on the Fourth of July and died in 2010, a year that there was no estate tax in the country. If Steinbrenner had died in 2009 when the estate tax threshold was $3.5 million and the rate 45 percent, the billionaire’s heirs would have had to pay… Read More »

What Is Included In My Estate for Federal Estate Tax Purposes?

You may be struggling to pay your mortgage and may not remember the last time you could afford a nice vacation without realizing that, according to the government, you’re a millionaire. Most people are surprised by the value of their gross estate. Although the amount that is exempt from federal estate taxes is currently $5,250,000… Read More »

Where Should Your Original Will Be Stored?

Hurricane Sandy may have caused more damage on Staten Island than in any of the five boroughs of New York City. Houses were destroyed and at least 23 people were killed as the storm tore through the coast. As the cleanup and rebuilding continues, residents should start dealing with replacing important documents and records that… Read More »

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 »

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 Estate Plan You Already Have

Warren Hillman was a federal employee who owned a Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Policy with a death benefit worth over $124,000. Hillman had named his former wife, Judy Maretta, as the beneficiary on that policy. When they divorced, Hillman neglected to change that designation, even after he remarried. When Hillman died in 2008,… Read More »

What If I Own Property in Another State?

According to a National Association of Realtors 2013 survey, vacation home sales rose to more than 550,000 last year, up about 10 percent from 2011. This means that more and more New Yorkers are likely to die owning estates that include property in another state, such as a vacation home in Maine (where fully eight… Read More »

How a Baby Can Upset an Estate Plan

If you are a parent, you probably already know how a baby can change your life. But what you may not know is how the birth or adoption of a child can radically upset an estate plan. What is a pretermitted child? A child who is born after someone makes a will but before the… Read More »