Estate and Elder Law

    • 17 Dec 2009

    Phil Bernstein on Changes in New York Power of Attorney Law

    On this edition, Philip Bernstein of Garden City, N.Y. discusses some of the recent changes in New York power of attorney law, including what led to the revisions, differences from past forms and the impact of the new provisions. Copyright© 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. (Please visit the site to view this audio)
    • 19 Nov 2009

    Should You Add Provisions for Email and Social Networking Accounts in a Will?

    An article on an Australian news website run by Fox (news.com.au) recently posed the question, “What happens to email and social networking profiles when you die?” Assuming that the person dies without telling someone how to access all his or her account information, what can family members do to retrieve final messages, look for clues in mysterious deaths, or even delete or memorialize accounts? Here’s...
    • 11 Nov 2009

    Problems with New York’s New Power of Attorney Law

    New York enacted a new power of attorney law in 2008, effective September 1, 2009. The new law contains major changes relating to both the content and the execution of the power of attorney form, including an acceptance by the agent. If a principal wants his or her agent(s) to make major gifts, it will now require a second form, called a Statutory Major Gift Rider (SMGR, affectionately pronounced “smugger”...
    • 8 Jun 2009

    Market Woes May Spell Trouble for PBGC

    With the economy struggling and financial markets hard-hit, the last thing that Americans want to worry about is their pension plans. Yet, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is worried, and therefore Americans should be worried as well. In January 2009, the GAO decided to keep the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on its "high-risk" watch list for 2009 1 . This is the seventh year that the...
    • 8 Aug 2012

    Amendment of Trust by Grantor’s Attorney-in-Fact

    An irrevocable and unamendable trust can be revoked or amended during the life of the grantor under certain limited circumstances. New York's Estate Powers and Trust Law (EPTL) provides in Section 7-1.9 that upon the written acknowledged consents of all persons beneficially interested in a trust, a grantor may revoke or amend the whole or any part of a trust by his or her written acknowledged instrument. A New York...
    • 6 Aug 2012

    State Net Capitol Journal: CA State Park Donors Cry Foul

    Last month California officials revealed that the state Department of Parks and Recreation had stashed away $54 million it had not reported to the state Department of Finance. The news came as quite a surprise, especially to the groups that had generously donated to keep state parks open that the department said had to be closed to save $22 million. "They sort of came to us under false pretenses," said Reed...
    • 23 Aug 2011

    In a Six-Year Blink of the Eye, Social Security Might Be Drained

    According to a recent AP report , the Social Security disability fund is on a 6-year brink of destruction. Estimates project that the disability trust will run out of money by 2017, with the retirement fund drying up about two decades later. The doomsday scenario is largely related to laid-off workers and aging baby boomers, who are currently draining disability monies. Compared to 10 years ago, disability applications...
    • 26 Jul 2010

    Gifts You Can Give After Your Lifetime

    A previous Oast & Hook article discussed the different gifting options that are available for you. These included gifts of cash, appreciated property, and real estate. This article discusses the different gifting options that are available after your death. These options include bequests in either a will or revocable trust, gifts of the proceeds from a retirement plan, and gifts derived from a life insurance plan...
    • 7 May 2010

    Gifts You Can Give Now

    There are many different ways to make charitable donations. The variety of options makes it easier to find a means of giving that best fits your personal goals and financial situation. This article covers the different ways that you can give during your lifetime by making outright gifts of cash, appreciated property, or real estate. First, it is important to note that aside from the personal satisfaction derived from...
    • 24 Jul 2012

    Historic Estate & Gift Tax Savings Opportunities Almost Gone

    By: David R. Schoenhaar, Esq.* We are half way through 2012 and the generous tax legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2011, is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2012, if Congress fails to act. Those who can participate in significant gift planning must act now if they plan to take advantage of the historic opportunities presented by the high gift tax exemption amount before the close of 2012. What's...
    • 23 Jul 2012

    State Net Capitol Journal: Pension Reforms Gain Necessary Traction in States and Cities

    The specter of unfunded pension liabilities is haunting U.S. state and local government. These liabilities were an underlying factor in recent municipal bankruptcies in California. They hover over Pennsylvania, which is pondering pension reform while trying to rescue distressed cities. Anxiety over pension costs helped save the job of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) in a recall election on June 5, the same day voters...
    • 11 Jul 2012

    Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts on the Chopping Block?

    Persons who have relied upon certain trusts as a means of limiting estate taxes upon their death might have cause for concern regarding an Obama administration budget proposal for 2013. While the current proposal remains very broad, and thus might be subject to change down the road, as it stands now, it would require those who set up "grantor trusts" to include trust assets in their own estates for estate tax...
    • 9 Jul 2012

    Keep Track of IRS Rules on IRAs and Other Retirement Accounts

    Owners of individual retirement accounts might face increased scrutiny by the IRS in the near future, posing the danger of hefty penalties for account mistakes that have previously gone unnoticed. As this recent online Wall Street Journal article notes, the IRS recently has been cracking down on secret foreign accounts and high earners. Now its attention is likely to turn to IRA account holders as the agency implements...
    • 6 Jul 2012

    New Hawaii Law to Help Protect Assets of Married Couples - NC Law is Not Quite as Helpful

    Hawaii is on the verge of a step forward in the field of asset protection, with pending legislation awaiting the Governor's signature that, if signed, would extend the shield of creditor protection available to married couples. Hawaii is among a group of states, approximately half in the nation, to recognize property held in tenancy by the entirety (TBE). Tenancy by the entirety is a form of property ownership in...
    • 18 Jun 2010

    FREE DOWNLOAD: Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts – Modification

    Modification Special Needs Trusts [a] Revocable Trust vs. Irrevocable Trust A SNT established by a third party for the benefit of a beneficiary with a disability and funded with the grantor's assets (not the assets of the beneficiary who has a disability) could certainly be created as a garden variety, revocable inter vivos trust. Since the assets of the trust are not the beneficiary's, the trust is not subject...
    • 10 Nov 2009

    Asset Protection Trusts for U.S. and Foreign Persons

    This chapter was originally published as Chapter 9 of International Estate Planning , written by Henry (“Terry”) Christensen III, Esq., a partner at McDermott, Will and Emery, in New York City . © 2009 by LexisNexis Matthew Bender. To order a copy of this one-volume treatise, visit the Lexis Bookstore Lexis.com subscribers can access International Estate Planning Read Chapter 9 of International...
    • 17 Sep 2009

    Pet Trusts – The How To Guide

    Ms. Rapkin is the author of Matthew Bender’s Planning for Large Estates. Those wishing to order a copy of Matthew Bender’s Planning for Large Estates can do so via the Lexis Bookstore Lexis.com customers may access Matthew Bender’s Planning for Large Estates View Stephanie Rapkin’s Pet Trusts – The How To Guide
    • 14 Jan 2011

    Modern Estate Planning

    Modern Estate Planning is a comprehensive treatise covering estate, gift, income and generation-skipping transfer taxation. It guides the practitioner through the issues and challenges in advising a wide range of clients. The 5 volumes cover three distinct areas of estate planning: estate planning principles (Vols. 1 and 2); wealth transfer planning and drafting (Vols. 3 and 4); and return filing and procedure (Vol. 5...
    • 14 Jan 2011

    Living Trusts: Forms and Practice

    Living Trusts: Forms and Practice is a 1-volume practice-oriented publication. Get analysis of living trusts laws and a collection of practice-tested legal forms for establishing and funding living trusts, including a simple joint revocable living trust for married persons; simple separate revocable living trusts for married persons; a simple revocable living trust for unmarried persons; estate tax planning living trusts...
    • 14 Jan 2011

    Warren's Heaton on Surrogate's Courts

    Warren's Heaton on Surrogate's Court Practice provides comprehensive coverage and analysis of New York Probate and Estates practice issues. Accepted by the courts as the leading authority on practice in Surrogate's Court, topics include jurisdiction, intestacy, probate, appointment of representatives and guardians, estate administration, fiduciary duties, accounting, commissions and fees, litigation, Federal...
    • 14 Jan 2011

    California Trust Practice

    California Trust Practice contains analysis, practice commentary, forms, and checklists for lawyers, accountants, and financial consultants who advise non-professional trustees. It provides guidance on allocating and distributing assets to bypass and marital deduction trusts, implementing and using administrative trusts, handling claims by and against post-mortem trusts, and evaluating the need for court supervision....
    • 14 Jan 2011

    New York Practice Guide: Probate and Estate Administration

    New York Practice Guide: Probate and Estate Administration provides expert guidance on the essentials of probate and estate administration in New York State. It has in-depth analysis of state and federal statutes, case law, regulations, and statewide court rules and contains broad-ranging coverage of the preliminary steps of probate and estate administration, settlement of small estates, probate of a will, letters of...
    • 21 Aug 2012

    Florida Durable Power of Attorney for Property: New law terminates spouse's powers when dissolution of marriage is pending

    Recent changes in Florida Statute 709.2109 state that a person named as agent under his/her spouse's Florida Durable Power of Attorney for Property loses legal authority to act on the spouse's behalf in the event of divorce or annulment, or when an action is filed for divorce or legal separation. The only exception is if the Durable Power of Attorney specifically states otherwise (i.e., that the agents's powers...
    • 21 Aug 2012

    Thirty-Three Social Security Planning Tips

    Social security can be a confusing government benefit. The following is a brief list of tips to make it more beneficial to you. 1. If you are already collecting your retirement benefit and are at or over full retirement age, you can tell Social Security you want to suspend further benefits and then ask them to restart your benefits at a later date, say age 70. Social Security will then apply its Delayed Retirement...
    • 31 Jul 2012

    How to Protect Yourself from Court-Ordered Guardianship (and the Occasional Bad Apple Guardian)

    Becoming incapacitated and unable to manage one's own affairs is an unnerving prospect. Having the court appoint a guardian for you adds insult to injury. No one wants the state mucking around in his personal affairs and finances. There's yet another reason to be wary of court-ordered guardianship: Not every guardian is going to do a good job. While the vast majority of court-appointed guardians are hardworking...