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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Dedon on Estate Planning: The President’s 2015 Budget: Limitations on Crummey Withdrawal Rights

President Obama’s $2.9 trillion budget for the 2015 fiscal year includes several tax increases, particularly on the wealthy, to pay for increased spending without increasing the deficit. One increase that will not be widely reported pertains to "Crummey" power limitations. (I am limiting...

Recent Changes to New York's Estate Tax Laws

By David R. Schoenhaar, Esq.* Effective April 1, 2014, as part of the implementation of the 2014-2015 budget, the legislature and Governor Cuomo made significant changes to New York’s estate and trust income tax laws. According to Governor Cuomo, a key objective is to provide tax relief to New...