Posts Tagged ‘probate’

We can help protect your legacy.

We handle a great deal of probate cases at my office. In fact, if someone has passed away in your family, we can probably help you. However, whenever I work on these cases I often wonder why so many people allow their assets to go through probate. Did they not know there were other choices? Did they not know how expensive probate can be? I am also often saddened when I see a person’s Will that leaves the assets equally to all the children, but the assets pass outside of the Will and do not follow the person’s wishes. Below…

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Your Estate Plan: What Legacy Will You Leave?

Estate planning is primarily about how to pass your property on after your death to the recipients of your estate with a minimum of fuss, expense and taxes. But it's about a lot more as well. Over the years practicing estate and elder law planning, I have seen many families torn asunder by poorly planned estates. (Of course, the cracks were already present.) Whether and how you plan your estate can mean that your children will or will not be on speaking terms after you're gone. It can determine whether they will be shortchanged by Medicaid claims or estate taxes,…

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How To Avoid Probate.

There are many planning devices of which families can take advantage to avoid having to go through the probate/ administration process. Most of them are relatively simple. For example, your bank accounts can pass outside of probate simply by putting a POD (paid on death) or TOD (transfer on death) designation on the account. Once you have a POD or TOD on the account the money will go to the designated person(s) upon the presentation of a death certificate to the bank. Each bank has its own procedure for doing this so please check with your financial institution for their…

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It’s Time to Protect Your Family and Your Future

Estate planning is a financial process that can protect you and your family, and is a very important component of your overall financial planning. If you don’t have an up-to-date estate plan and you happen to get hurt or sick and cannot manage your financial affairs, the courts, through a guardianship, will appoint someone to manage them for you. The person they appoint might not be the one you would want to perform those tasks. Without an estate plan when you pass away, your affairs will be settled by default through a complex legal system called “probate.” The handling of…

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The Last Will and Testament of Andy Rooney, the longtime commentator on 60 Minutes who died back in November 2011, has been filed for probate in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court.

According to the New York Daily News, the will leaves the entire estate, which is comprised of $8 million in stocks, bonds and cash and $1 million in real estate, to Mr. Rooney's four children, Brian Rooney of Los Angeles, identical twins Emily Rooney of Boston and Martha Fishel of Chevy Chase, MD, and Ellen Rooney of London. Mr. Rooney's wife, Marguerite "Margie" Rooney, died in 2004. They had been married for 62 years. When asked about his father's estate, Brian Rooney said that his father lived "frugally" and "wasn't into fancy estate planning." So based on this statement, apparently…

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If you’re an executor for someone who died in 2010, mark your calendar for January 17, 2012. That’s the new date by which you must now file a key federal tax form.

If your last name is “Steinbrenner,” or you also are the heir to the estate of a decedent who passed in 2010, then you likely know that your assets stand at a crossroads and that the estate executor has a huge choice: to file for the estate tax or not to file? That, is the question. Formerly, the deadline was November 15, 2011, only a couple weeks out. Good news: Now, the deadline has been extended out to January 17, 2012. So, why is there even a choice to file an estate tax return anyway and why might it be…

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Being asked by friends or family to be executor of an estate is a big honor, but the warm feelings can vanish once the job starts.

 Choosing an executor can be a difficult task, and in no small part this is because it means finding someone you trust to do as you would do. Oftentimes it is gesture of trust and respect made to a friend or family member. Neither the estate planner nor the would-be executor ought to forget, however, that serving as executor can be a fairly difficult role to play. The Wall street Journal recently offered some practical insights and advice on the topic, noting that to be named executor is both “an honor… and a pain.” Simply put, the executor administers a…

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Think your estate planning is done once you’ve gone to the trouble of making a will? Think again. All your hard work can be undone with a stroke of a pen when you open a bank, brokerage or retirement account.

What is the quickest way to un-do an otherwise carefully planned estate? Open a bank account, brokerage or retirement account. Why? Because the beneficiary designations on these accounts override your will. Yes, it’s true – the beneficiary designation is the estate planning trump card. And many an estate plan has come undone because of carelessly named beneficiaries. The Wall Street Journal last week issued a warning in an article entitled Beware the Beneficiary Form. “People don’t realize the importance of this,” says Martin Shenkman, an estate planning lawyer in Paramus, NJ. A carelessly named beneficiary on a financial account can…

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Some people do not need for a will. However, why you may choose to have a will.

With a will can you name the Executor / Personal Representative (“PR”) you would prefer to handle your estate after your gone.  The PR gathers and protects all your assets, pays all your debts, and distributes your property in accordance with your wishes as set forth in the will. If you have no will, someone has to file with the Probate Court to get the legal authority to deal with your property and do the same tasks as the PR. However, a Probate Court Judge decides who the PR is. Consequently, a family battle could ensue. Therefore, a will solves…

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Reasons to have an estate plan.

Estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or net worth.

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