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Beneficiary Designation Forms: A Good Estate Plan Is Not Complete Without A Review Of These As Well

Now that you are finally getting around to having your Will prepared or updated, or even considering adding a Revocable Trust to your planning documents, it is also important to plan for those assets that are subject to a document commonly referred to as a beneficiary designation form.  Most commonly, my clients inquire: Doesn’t my…

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What are my Duties as Agent on a Power of Attorney?

Your mom has appointed you as her agent on her power of attorney. Now what? All powers of attorney signed on or after September 12, 2010, must be signed by the agent (you), acknowledging your appointment in order for you to act. The power of attorney document informs the agent (you) of your legal responsibilities:…

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Restriction On Valuation Discounts Forecasted – Gift Now

Employees at the U.S. Treasury Department have spoken publically about pending regulation changes that would significantly restrict the ability to take valuation discounts in certain circumstances. Many practitioners are recommending that their clients act now and make gift of appreciating assets to the next generation to avoid the implication of these proposed restrictions.

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Should You have a Revocable Living Trust?

A Revocable Trust is a tool used by estate planners which can work very well, if it fits the particular circumstances. A Revocable Trust does not avoid income or estate taxes, and this blog will not cover the asset protection uses for these trusts (see Protecting your Home from the Catastrophic Cost of Long Term Care…

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Same Sex Marriage in New York after Obergefell v. Hodges: What Now?

There has been a tremendous sea change across the United States as it relates to same sex marriage, the majority of which has taken place almost entirely within the last decade. In the past three years alone, nearly two dozen states offered their residents some form of same sex union for the first time. On…

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Another Day – and Another Large Scale Identity Theft

The recent attacks: The IRS announced recently that criminals have gained unauthorized access to  approximately 100,000 individual tax accounts through the “get transcript” application.  The information accessed includes taxpayers’ social security numbers, birth dates and addresses.

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Protecting your Home from the Catastrophic Cost of Long Term Care

The average cost of a nursing home stay in the Central New York region is over $100,000 per year.  Many people want to make sure their home is protected if they ever need to be placed in a nursing home. The home is protected if there is a surviving spouse or a disabled child living…

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Trusts and Wills: What if the document no longer fits the family situation?

A common complaint about the trust or will of a deceased ancestor is that the terms of the trust or will are not responsive to changed circumstances and events not contemplated at the time the instrument was signed. Trust beneficiaries may become disabled or improvident. Family members may develop conflicts. Tax laws may have radically…

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Is your family taking advantage of the New York State Nursing Home Assessment Credit?

New York Public Health Law §2807-d(2)(b) imposes an assessment on New York residential health care facilities of six percent (6%) of the receipts of the residential health care facility. In most cases, the nursing homes pass on this assessment to the residents. This assessment is shown as a separate line item on the nursing home…

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It’s That Time of Year Again

What’s on your list of New Year’s resolutions?  No doubt a resolution to create or review your estate plan is not at the top of your list.  But estate planning is as important as resolutions to lose weight, spend time with family or be more frugal.

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