Trusts, Estates & Taxation


New York Medicaid Trusts: The Devil Is in the Details
November 14, 2017 | Dennis Wiley
Irrevocable Medicaid trusts can be a powerful tool for families seeking to protect assets from the costs of long-term care, if drafted and administered properly. A failure of either can create bad blood within the tightest of families, with resulting financial repercussions, so the Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court reminds us in its September 7, 2017, …
Read More
Electronic Wills and Digital Estate Planning: Still in the Concept Phase
September 29, 2017 | Dennis Wiley
For trust and estate attorneys, the big news this summer from Florida was not Hurricane Irma, but Governor Rick Scott’s veto of proposed legislation to legalize what are often called “electronic Wills.” These are Last Will and Testaments that are digitally created, signed and stored online or on a tablet, smart phone or similar electronic …
Read More
New Medicaid Planning Tool
August 22, 2017 | Jeffrey S. Greener
The most costly item in retirement isn’t housing; it’s healthcare. According to the AARP, some 70% of Americans will require long-term care during their lifetime. With nursing homes in New York costing $12,000 to $14,000 per month and the future of Social Security and Medicare unclear, many retirees risk financial ruin unless they have put …
Read More
Planning For Long Term Care: The Irrevocable Income Only Trust
August 5, 2016
After many years of hard work, sacrifice and saving, most people look forward to a secure and stress-free retirement. Few, however, consider the probability of needing costly long-term care, either at home or in a nursing home. According to the AARP, approximately 70% of Americans will need some type of long-term care. Nursing homes in …
Read More
Will Contests
May 31, 2013
In New York State, a Will of a deceased person is given legal effect only after it is admitted to probate by the Court.  In the event someone objected to the admission of the Will to probate, i.e. a Will contest, the Court must consider four issues: (1) Did the Testator have mental capacity to …
Read More
IRS In the News

Sequestration and the IRS Earlier this year, the previously little-known word of “sequestration” was catapulted to the forefront of the news because effective March 1, 2013 the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 mandated an approximate $1 trillion spending cut for federal agencies over a 10-year period.  So, what exactly is sequestration and how does …
Read More
Net Investment Income Tax

The “Obamacare” tax on net investment income came into effect on January 1, 2013 although the guidance on the regulations under Section 1411 is not effective until after December 31, 2013.  First and foremost – what is this new tax? Basically, taxpayers must add an additional 3.8% tax on the lesser of their net investment …
Read More
The Surrogate’s Court: An Introduction
January 31, 2013
Our state constitution and statutes provide that each one of the counties of the State of New York has its own Judge of the Surrogate’s Court, commonly referred to as the “Surrogate”.  The laws allow, when necessary, that a county may have more than one Surrogate.  As of the time of the writing of this …
Read More
Amending a Trust with a Power of Attorney

Under certain circumstances, a designated agent under a power of attorney (“POA”) has the authority to amend an irrevocable trust.  New York recently supported this authority in the Second Department case, Perosi v. LiGreci, 98 A.D.3d 230 (2012).There are many variables involved to determine whether an agent (also referred to as an attorney-in-fact) has the …
Read More
Home Is . . . Where the Domicile Is? – Part II of a two-part series

In our fall newsletter, we advised you of the intense review given a residency audit.  In the second part of this article, we have outlined the following steps that should be taken to successfully transition into a new domicile: Declare your new state to be your place of domicile and residence in all forms or …
Read More
American Taxpayer Relief Act

The fiscal cliff was averted on January 1, 2013 with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Act) which was signed by President Obama on January 2, 2013.  The new law eliminates the “sunset” provisions of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, offering an increased degree of stability even with the tax …
Read More
Trusts, Estates & Taxation Newsletter – Winter 2013

Please click the link below to view the Trusts, Estates & Taxation Newsletter – Winter 2013. Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install. Trusts, Estates & Taxation Newsletter – Winter 2013 …
Read More
Trusts, Estates & Taxation Newsletter – Fall 2012
August 31, 2012
Please click the link below to view the Trust, Estates & Taxation Newsletter-Fall 2012. Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install. Trust, Estates & Taxation Newsletter-Fall 2012 …
Read More
Home Is . . . Where the Domicile Is?

While “home is where the heart is”, “domicile” is where the tax savings reside.  Determining one’s domicile becomes very important when a person has connections with New York and another state, and they want to avoid being subject to New York State tax.  New York State Tax Law Section 605(b) says simply that if you’re …
Read More
Same-Sex Marriages and the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”)

The constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is being questioned.  A New York court in Windsor v. United States, 833 F. Supp. 2d 394 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), is one of several federal courts that recently declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment to the …
Read More
Technical Section – Trust, Estates & Taxation Newsletter – Fall 2012

President Obama’s Budget Impacts Intentionally Defective Trusts If President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal passes then a grantor trust would be included in the grantor’s estate or used to pay gift taxes if trust assets are distributed before the grantor’s death or the grantor ceases to be treated as the owner.  This attempt to deter the use …
Read More
An End To The Uncertainty: Your Life Estate (and other non-probate assets) Are Safe From Medicaid
June 30, 2012
Retained life estates are once again protected from Medicaid claims.  A common elder law technique is for an individual to transfer the ownership of their house to their children, while keeping the right to live in the house for their life.  This is called a “retained life estate”.  At death, the house would immediately transfer …
Read More
Independent Trustees: How Much Is Enough Discretion?

When a Testator creates a Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trust or a Credit Shelter Trust under his or her Will, the Testator’s spouse is always a beneficiary of the QTIP Trust and frequently a beneficiary of the Credit Shelter Trust. The Testator will often appoint his or her spouse and another individual – usually …
Read More
Alimony Trusts

Trusts have become increasingly popular for asset protection and tax planning and yet the skills of an estate planning attorney are frequently not considered relevant when prenuptial agreements or divorce settlements are contemplated.  This misstep results in the loss of many estate and tax planning opportunities.  For example, one useful option to consider when alimony …
Read More
An End To the Uncertainty — Your Life Estate (and other non-probate assets) are safe from Medicaid
May 31, 2012
Retained life estates are once again protected from Medicaid claims.  A common elder law technique is for an individual to transfer the ownership of their house to their children, while keeping the right to live in the house for their life.  This is called a “retained life estate”.  At death, the house would immediately transfer …
Read More
Independent Trustees: How Much Is Enough Discretion?

When a Testator creates a Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trust or a Credit Shelter Trust under his or her Will, the Testator’s spouse is always a beneficiary of the QTIP Trust and frequently a beneficiary of the Credit Shelter Trust. The Testator will often appoint his or her spouse and another individual – usually …
Read More
New Yorkers Can Modify “Irrevocable” Trusts

Long considered the American pacesetter and authority for the Law of Trusts, New York in recent decades has taken a backseat to other states who have made significant strides in the modernization of these statutes.   Such improvements have forced attorney’s in New York to look elsewhere to take advantage of more consumer friendly and powerful …
Read More

Legal updates and news delivered to your inbox