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New York State Budget Extends “Clawback” of Gifts for New York Estate Tax Purposes

New York State Budget Extends “Clawback” of Gifts for New York Estate Tax Purposes As an update to Ryan’s 2014 blog that in part discussed New York’s treatment of gifts, New York had let a provision in the law lapse that required the value of certain gifts to be included back into a New York…

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2019 Changes to New York Estate Tax Exclusion Amount

As of January 1, 2019, the New York State estate tax exclusion amount is increased to $5,740,000 per person. This is an increase from the prior exclusion amount of $5,250,000. The Federal equivalent amount is now $11,400,000 per person. The annual gift tax exclusion amount remains at $15,000 per gift recipient. As stated in my…

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Estate and Gift Law Changes under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The new legislation signed into law on December 22, 2017 has significant estate planning changes. The federal estate, gift and generation skipping tax exemption amount is now doubled to $11.2 million per person. This exemption is portable between spouses. The new legislation also increased the annual gift exclusion amount from $14,000 to $15,000 as of…

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Estate Planning – Much More Than Signing a Will

In the age of the internet, there is a growing trend amongst the American populace who decide they need a Will to avoid the cost of a lawyer and use a legal services website like Legal Zoom® or use some free Will form found on the internet. However, there are many dynamics that go into…

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A Living Will is Not a Will (But No Less Important)

Lawyers are occasionally guilty of speaking legal jargon that a non-lawyer has no idea what the lawyer is talking about. For example, an estate planning lawyer (or perhaps an estate planning website you found) may suggest that you execute a living will in addition to a will, health care proxy and power of attorney. You…

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There is No Will; Now What Do I Do?

If your loved one has passed away without leaving a Will, you will now find yourself in the murky area of Voluntary Estate Administration. If someone passes with a Will, there is a “probate” of that Will. If there is no Will, then a qualified person must petition the Surrogate’s Court to be appointed the…

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Exercise Caution When Opening Joint Bank Accounts

Joint bank accounts are frequently used by spouses for a number of reasons but are typically created so each spouse can write checks from the shared account to take care of living expenses.  Joint accounts are tools of convenience, allowing for example one spouse to rely on the other to take care of the bills. …

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Important Time Periods for New York Business Owners Contemplating Litigation

Perhaps you have seen commercials from personal injury law firms trying to convince you to call them immediately if you have been injured because your claim may be time-sensitive. While these firms are obviously trying to get your business, there is some truth in this type of statement. Virtually any claim you may have against…

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So You Are Being Deposed…

Hopefully you never find yourself a party to a civil lawsuit, be it as a defendant or as a plaintiff, as such matters can be stressful, time-consuming and costly. There are of course occasions where lawsuits are unavoidable such as when you served with a summons and named as a defendant. On the other side…

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Another Reason to Move South – Creditor Protection of Retirement Plan Benefits for Floridians

In the fall of 2014, my colleague Betsy wrote an informative blog regarding a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that under federal law, an IRA that is inherited by an individual (i.e. the beneficiary) is not protected in bankruptcy.

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