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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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Divorced? Is your Retirement Plan Beneficiary Really Who You Think it Is?

This is not a typical topic for a blog post during a holiday week, but nonetheless it is an issue of which we should all be aware. Going through a divorce can be analogous to the loss of a loved one. The emotional side-effects can be very difficult and the division of assets can be…

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Business Update: A Seminar for Clients and Friends of the Firm

Mackenzie Hughes attorneys strongly believe in keeping their clients informed on the latest developments in law and business.

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What it means to be an Executor

This blog answers questions we frequently are asked by persons named as Executor in a decedent’s Last Will and Testament. The decedent’s Will appoints me as executor.  What’s next?  Is my appointment automatic? No.  You will be appointed executor by the Surrogate Court after the Will has been accepted for probate.  The Court will issue…

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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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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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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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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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The ABCs of QDROs

When a couple is going through a divorce, one important consideration is the division of assets, which frequently includes retirement assets such as 401(k)s, pensions, and other plans.  To effectuate the division of these plans, typically a specific document called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required.  The individual requirements of a QDRO are…

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