Ask Liza: Are Wills Drafted In Other States Valid?

Dear Liza: I would like to know if my wife and I had a will drawn up in Colorado and now reside in Arzonia do we need to have it redone? If your Will was valid in Colorado, it will be valid in Arizona. Both states require that a Will be in writing, be written by someone over 18 years old, and be witnessed...

Potential Pitfalls of an Out of State Executor: Keep New York Estate Assets in New York

By Jennifer F. Hillman Pursuant to New York Surrogate Court Procedure Act ("SCPA") § 711, a fiduciary cannot remove property of an estate from New York without prior approval of the Court. A violation of this duty could lead to suspension, modification of letters testamentary or removal...

Ask Liza: Annual Gifts and Lifetime Gifts

Dear Liza, I would like to give my son $200k to upgrade homes. Can me and my wife each give $13,000 to my son, daughter in law, and two grand children? That would be $102,000, and then apply the remaining $98,000 to the unified tax credit. Can I write it all in one check for the four of them? You...

Pre Nuptial Waivers Not Enforceable Unless Properly Acknowledged

By Peter K. Kelly, Esq. Of Counsel, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C. A nuptial agreement which waives certain rights under equitable distribution must be in writing, subscribed by the parties and acknowledged in the manner entitle for a deed to be recorded. Domestic Relations Law Section 236B(3)....

Ask Liza: Should We Get Married? Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples Now

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: My long term domestic partner of 30 years and I were registered domestic partners for a few years and then she decided she wanted to be totally financially independent of me so we terminated the agreement last year. We are still together as a couple and live five...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Preparing a Certificate of Trust

Clients often ask about a Trust "Certificate" or "Certification." A Trust Certificate serves as a summary of the Trust provisions, and is designed to provide third parties, such as banks, insurance companies, or financial institutions, with essential but basic information for purposes...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Estate Planning – What a Difference a Year Makes

In contrast to this time last year, when clients were frantically gifting to save estate tax before adverse tax law changes, this year has returned to the norm, with more traditional and routine end of year planning. In December 2012, Congress at the last minute preserved the $5 million exemption...

Dedon on Estate Planning: Ringing in the New Year With Good Estate Tax News

By John Dedon In the estate tax world, 2013 ended in stark contrast to the frantic planning during 2012. 2013 marked a return to fundamental estate planning; namely, using Wills, Revocable Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Medical Directives, to protect the family assets for a surviving spouse and children...

Making Your Mark: Using a Fingerprint When a Testator Cannot Sign the Will

By Jennifer F. Hillman, Esq. We have all seen the movies where an illiterate individual signs an important document with an “X”. Even literate clients may have difficulty signing a document due to a severe physical impairment. Compliance with the requirements of New York Estate Powers...

Ask Liza: Adding That New Baby

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: My wife and I are the proud parents of two young boys. As a part of our estate planning we have created a Joint Living Trust and funded it with the title to our home, our life insurance policies as well as a few other things. We are now, however, expecting a third child...

Dedon on Estate Planning: Disposition of Tangible Personal Property in a Side Letter

A common question asked by clients preparing their Wills is how to dispose of tangible personal property upon death. For example, I am asked, "I have jewelry and a coin collection, do I need to specify how those items are distributed among my children upon my death or can I simply tell the children...

David Shulman: Who Gets Paid If an Alleged Incapacitated Person Dies Before the Hearing? Nobody?

By David Shulman I’m sure there are some independently wealthy attorneys out there who take all of their cases pro bono . Most of us though are hard-working schlubs like everyone else who while we love what we do, need to pay the bills too. When we work there is some hope or expectation of getting...

McNees Insights: Estate Planning for Digital Assets

By Andrew S. Rusniak It is often said that the law lags behind technology. One area where this sentiment is particularly applicable is estate planning for digital assets. In a world where our lives are becoming ever more digital, many estate planning practitioners unfortunately attempt to rely on...

McNees Insights on Estate Planning: Who Gets Your IRA? – 6 Common Mistakes

By David M. Watts, Jr. | Do you want your heirs to have to chase after your 401K or IRA money? Many of us have a significant portion of our assets held in retirement plans, such as 401Ks and IRAs, and your Will does not control who gets your 401K or IRA. Therefore, it is important to make sure you...

David Shulman on Estate Planning: Finding Your Digital Assets After Death

by David Shulman I’ve written before about estate planning for your digital assets and online accounts. Well this article isn’t necessarily about planning , but what happens after you die – especially if you don’t plan (or even if you do). I do both estate planning and probate...

Ask Liza: Estate Planning Beats Avoidance

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: We live in Nebraska. I own a ranch with my brother. Part of it we inherited and a small part we purchased from family members. The total value of the ranch is $2.7 million. We have a buy sell agreement between us. We have estate questions and aren’t sure where...

David Shulman: Gizmodo Gets Everything About the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Wrong

By David Shulman As I’ve written recently , the Uniform Law Commission approved the Uniform Fidicuary Access to Digital Assets Act. The act can be found on the Committee’s website , along with supplemental material, such as prior drafts, comments, and issues memorandum. A direct link to...

Ask Liza: Getting Good Advice When You Are The Beneficiary

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: After dealing with an unexpected death of my spouse my head is still spinning.. My spouse was very private after a divorce and we kept our affairs separate. Now the Will, of which I was unaware, allows me to stay in our home and if I choose to leave or pass it goes...

Ask Liza: Naming a Minor as a Beneficiary of an IRA

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: I want to name my minor grandchildren as beneficiaries of my IRA account. How do I do that? Can I use my Will? It’s a smart idea to name minors as beneficiaries of your IRAs. Since they are young, they’ll be able to withdraw that money slowly over their...

Ask Liza: The Right Plan For Now: Living Trust

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza, I’m a young professional and would greatly appreciate your feedback on what type of trust, if any, would suit me well given my current financial and life position. I’m single, 29 years old (30 later this year), with cash, stocks, and a stake in a high-growth...

Ask Liza: Creditor’s Claims and Trust Administration

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: I am the successor trustee of my parents trust. The have both passed and I was told before I disburse the assets I need to advertise a Notice to Creditors. How long and how many times do I need to advertise? Since I don’t know which state you live in, I can...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Planning Not Just For The ‘Very Wealthy’

Russ Alan Prince, for Forbes, published an article on October 13, titled "The Very Wealthy Embrace Severe Disaster Contingency Planning." The article outlined how today, "the exceptionally wealthy [are] vulnerable to geopolitical instability, market volatility, career criminals, and even...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Is It R.I.P. For IRAs?

In an October online article in The Wall Street Journal , the reporter described how Congress is examining large IRAs, and IRAs holding real estate and closely held business interests. Congress’ concern is that IRA income tax advantages are being used by the wealthy in ways beyond that contemplated...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: 1031 Exchanges And End Of Year Planning

My partner, David Lawrence, is an expert on Section 1031 tax-free exchanges involving investment real estate. His thoughts regarding end of year planning and the advantages of 1031s is below. Tax Straddling When Selling Investment Property Between now and the end of the year, taxpayers can legally...

Ask Liza: Disinheriting a Child

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: My husband and I both have a will that states we are each other’s beneficiaries and executor’s and our son as 100% beneficiary of both of us died,. My husband has a daughter by a previous marriage. If my husband dies before me does she have rights to our...