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Estate Law

Is My Estate Plan Valid If I Move To Another State?

There are many life changes that occur during one’s existence, not the least of which is moving to another location. Quite often, for job placement or family reasons, the move is to another state. Along with this move comes the inevitable question of whether one’s will and other various estate planning documents are valid in Read on…

Should I Have An Estate Plan For My Pet?

There are specific provisions that can be set up in the context of a will to provide a funded trust for one’s pet. I sure understand that a pet is a loved one that is part of the family. A provision should be included within the context of the will that creates a testamentary pet Read on…

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Living Wills and Health Care Proxies

Quite often, people can get confused and interchange the use of the term “living will” and “health care proxy”. While the two terms are not synonymous, they are often combined into one document known as a “Living Will and Health Care Proxy”. Typically, the living will sets forth advanced medical directives for health care professionals Read on…

When To Get a Power of Attorney for a Parent

The question often arises as to when to get a power of attorney for an older parent. There is no one simple answer to this question but there are certain factors to be taken into consideration when making this decision. The Durable Power of Attorney is a powerful document that grants the agent the power Read on…

Do I Need a Will if I Have a Trust?

Quite often, estate clients are interested in the creation of a trust, whether revocable or irrevocable, with varied purposes in mind. A trust is what is known as a testamentary substitute, meaning that assets that are titled in the name of a trust will pass outside the purview of a Last Will and Testament. This Read on…

When Should You Contest The Inventory Of Your Intestate Share?

When a person dies intestate (without a will), statutory law determines how that person’s estate will be distributed. Essentially, the assets are divided according to who is that person’s next of kin. Once necessary funeral expenses, estate administration costs, debts, and taxes of the decedent and estate are paid (i.e. final income taxes (IRS 1040), Read on…

If I Die Without a Will, Who Will be Appointed as Administrator of My Estate?

In prior blogs, I have discussed what happens to your estate if you die “intestate”, or without a will. Now I shall discuss who will be appointed an administrator to oversee the management of your estate if you die without a will. The Surrogates Court Procedure Act, more particularly, SCPA 1001, sets forth the priority Read on…

If I Am the Executor of an Estate, Should I Have the Checkbook or Should My Lawyer?

Generally speaking, it is the responsibility of the fiduciary appointed by the Court (i.e. executor, administrator) to be in charge of the estate bank accounts. Banks and financial institutions will need to see certificates of Letters Testamentary which grant the authority to the executor to conduct estate business, including the ability to open an estate Read on…

I’m In My 30’s and Married, What Type of Estate Planning Is Appropriate?

There are various estate planning strategies that are appropriate for a person in their 30s who is recently married. The most basic of estate planning strategies is to have you and your spouse execute a Last Will and Testament. These are fundamentally the most important estate planning documents that one can have because they set Read on…

What is an in terrorem clause (disinheritance) in a last will and testament?

It is not uncommon for a family member to disinherit another in their Last Will and Testament for fears that the person may be a spendthrift or squander monies that the person signing the Will (Testator) worked their whole lifetime to amass. Another method of disinheritance occurs when a Testator seeks to disinherit a family Read on…