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Estate Planning

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…

What Is Undue Influence And Why Does It Matter?

As set forth in the New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law (EPTL), an interested party may object to a Last Will and Testament being offered for probate on the basis of undue influence exerted upon the Testator (the person who signed the Will). If it is determined that an interested party or family member Read on…

Do You Need To Update Your Power of Attorney?

As with any documents concerning your estate or incapacity, it is often quite prudent to review these papers at regular time intervals, especially when there is a change in life circumstances (i.e. marriage, birth, death, relocation). The Durable Power of Attorney (POA) in New York is no exception. As previously stated in prior blogs, the Read on…

How Many Agents Should You Name On Your Durable Power Of Attorney

Clients often ask me if they should have more than one agent named on the New York Durable Power of Attorney (POA). The high-level answer to this question is “it depends”. Logistically speaking, it is often easier if only one agent is appointed on the POA. This is because financial institutions may require both agents Read on…

Tips For Overwhelmed Executors

Quite often, one assumes the role of executor (or administrator) for an estate without realizing many of the complexities associated with being appointed a fiduciary of an estate by the Surrogates’ Court. I usually explain to clients that being an executor of an estate is no different than being a CEO for a corporation. You Read on…

Misconceptions About Power of Attorney

In New York, the power of attorney is an important document, to say the least. It has far-reaching consequences which it is why it is crucial to understand the misconceptions about this document. Generally speaking, my powers of attorney (POAs) that are executed in New York are “durable’, which means that they take effect immediately Read on…

How Does An IRA Fit Into My Estate Planning?

Most IRAs, whether traditional or Roth IRAs, play a key role in estate planning. As long as an IRA has a named beneficiary, when the account holder passes away, the beneficiary will receive the proceeds of the IRA by operation of law. All that would need to be provided to the financial institution where the Read on…

If I Don’t Have An Estate, Do I Really Need An Estate Plan?

The question often arises as to whether an estate plan is necessary if you don’t believe you have an estate. The fact is that most people, whether they realize it or not, actually do have an estate. Real property aside, you may have checking accounts, savings accounts, IRA, pensions, or other financial accounts that may Read on…

Financial Capacity & Estate Planning In Order To Avoid Probate

Today on our blog, we have a guest post on a topic that affects everyone – estate planning. Specifically, estate planning and financial capacity. While we normally talk exclusively about elder law, part of estate planning also involves understanding your financial capacity as well. In this blog we discuss an intro to understanding your ability Read on…

When Does A Power Of Attorney Take Effect And How Long Does It Last?

The effective date by which a New York Power of Attorney takes effect will be a direct consequence of the type of document that is executed. A vast majority of clients sign what is known as a Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney takes effect immediately upon due and proper execution by Read on…