Estate Planning for Non-Citizens

Do You Need a Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT)? A Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT) is a vital estate planning tool designed to allow non-citizen spouses to benefit from the marital deduction for U.S. estate tax purposes. However, unless the surviving spouse becomes a US citizen, the QDOT merely postpones the estate tax. Here’s an overview to …

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New York’s New Transfer on Death Deed Avoids Probate

New York now has a Transfer on Death deed, which goes into effect on July 19, 2024. Traditionally, if a client wants to avoid probate for their real estate, we must create a trust and transfer the deed into the name of the trust. A trust avoids Surrogates Court and the property passes seamlessly to …

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Is Your Power of Attorney Strong Enough? The Devil is in the Details

Is Your Power of Attorney Strong Enough? The Devil is in the Details In the realm of estate planning, a Power of Attorney (POA) stands as a crucial document. However, not all Powers of Attorney are strong enough to withstand the test of time and all situations. The devil is, as they say, in the …

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Navigating Medicaid 2023 Income and Asset Guidelines for Long-Term Care

As our population ages, more and more seniors are choosing to age in place, staying in their homes and communities rather than moving to assisted living or nursing homes. Aging place is always preferred but not always possible. But cost doesn’t need to be a barrier for seniors wishing to live independently. New York’s Medicaid …

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Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning + Your Estate Plan

A new trend in decluttering has emerged that not only makes the afterlife easier for your loved ones, but also brings joy to the process of letting go. Welcome to the world of Swedish death cleaning, the Marie Kondo of the afterlife. Swedish death cleaning, or döstädning, is a term coined by Swedish author Margareta …

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Paying for College

Funding Education in Your Estate Planning: Giving Your Children Roots and Wings

Parents worry about education. Not only about paying for education, but about fostering curiosity so kids want to learn.  It is why we limit screen time but send them to coding classes. With an education we have more options in life, which means more freedom, independence, and (hopefully) happiness. Let’s explore how to efficiently fund …

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NY Right of Election

Don’t You, Forget About Me: No You Cannot Disinherit a Spouse

Does a Spouse have a Right to Inherit? New York does not allow a spouse to be disinherited. Children, yes. It has not always been the case that spouses were protected over children. Some countries, and even Puerto Rico, still have forced heirship laws, mandating assets pass down the blood line. But New York allows …

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Estate Planning & Divorce

Pending Divorce? Run, Don’t Walk, to your Estate Planning Attorney

Estate Planning Changes after a Divorce or Separation The literal meaning of divorce is to “turn to different ways.” Once the decision is made to part ways, the physical and emotional separation is usually immediate, but the legal severing of ties can take months, if not years. Even in the most amicable divorces, does anyone …

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Estate Planning for Musicians

Estate Planning for Musicians

New York is a mecca for the arts and there are approximately 12,000 professional musicians living in New York City and countless others just breaking into the music business. This includes studios musicians, band members, opera singers, soloists, hip hop artists, Broadway performers, orchestra musicians, composers, and songwriters. In addition to having the same estate …

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Estate Planning Artists

Estate Planning for Artists : A Primer

Many of my clients are artists and their estate planning involves unique practical hurdles and intellectual property issues. Artists worry about their creations and how they will fare in the world after they are gone – much like they would their children. This is a legitimate concern and I thought it would be helpful to …

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What is New York’s New Power of Attorney Form?

New York’s New Power of Attorney Starting June 13, 2021, New York State will enact a new statutory Power of Attorney. This new law requires a different form to be used for all Power of Attorney documents executed on or past this date. So, is this new law necessary and, more importantly, do you need …

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Estate Planning for Minors

How to Name a Guardian for your Child

Naming a Guardian for Your Child I do not know if it is because people are having children later in life or they are more sophisticated (don’t they go hand in hand?) but they are definitely more responsible than parents of my generation (in the 70’s we didn’t have car seats and people still smoked …

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