Category Archives: Estate Planning
If I Die Without a Will, What Happens to My Property?
If you die without a valid will, New York’s law of intestate succession will determine who receives your property. If you want your property to go to any non-relatives, such as friends or charities, you must make a will. A New York elder law attorney can assist you in ensuring your property goes where you… Read More »
Will I Owe Estate Taxes?
For 2013, only estates worth more than $5.25 million will owe federal estate taxes. But New York residents, and non-residents owning property in New York, may be surprised to learn that the State of New York imposes estate taxes on much smaller estates — those worth $1 million or more. Given that current median home… Read More »
How Can I Omit Someone From My Will?
Here is one example of a celebrity who apparently did just that. When Rocky Aoki, the founder of the Benihana chain of restaurants, died in 2008, he left behind a huge empire of restaurants and a fractious relationship with his family. At the time of his death, he had effectively disinherited his children and left… Read More »
Should I Try to Avoid Probate?
For many people, the word probate conjures up fears that their hard-earned money and property will disappear after their death into the black hole of court costs and lawyers fees, dragging their heirs through a long, torturous and painful process. As a result, many people look for ways to avoid probate. The truth is that… Read More »
The Truth About Estate Taxes in New York
Dan L. Duncan, a Texas billionaire, described by Forbes as the 74th richest person in the world, died unexpectedly from a brain hemorrhage in 2010. His untimely death generated a number of reports by the media, noting that from an estate taxation perspective, his timing couldn’t have been better. In that year, Congress failed to… Read More »
Celebrity Mistakes Teach Us to Protect Our Assets
The lives of the rich and famous proceed in the public eye. Press coverage of their doings is no longer only the province of the tabloids, but also appears in more mainstream magazines, TV news outlets and websites. Most celebrity lives, however, do not provide us lessons for our own lives. In death, however, there… Read More »
Can They Contest My Will?
Estate planning is the only way to exercise some control over our property after we die. A last will and testament is a basic and important tool in almost every estate plan, allowing its author to direct the destination of assets after death. Usually, family members and other beneficiaries under a will accept the directives… Read More »