Trusts & Estates

Wendy and Jen Wreck the Movies: Baby Mama (2008), or What Not to Leave to Chance When You Are Expecting
April 15, 2024 | Trusts & Estates

What Happens:

Kate Holbrook discovers that her chances of becoming pregnant are drastically reduced. Kate considers adoption, but a misguided social worker convinces her that her chances of being approved as an adoptive parent are limited because she is not married.

Kate learns of the Chaffee Bicknell surrogacy center and is connected with Angie Ostrowski,

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The New York State Estate Tax Cliff and the ‘Santa Clause’ Fix
April 8, 2024 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates | Tax

New York has an “estate tax cliff,” which can result in heirs paying New York estate tax at a rate exceeding 100%.

The current per-person NYS estate tax exemption is $6.94 million, which is the amount you can leave to your heirs at your death without paying NYS estate tax. If your taxable estate, however,

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Decanting a ‘HEMS Only’ Trust in Favor of an SNT
March 14, 2024 | Joseph T. La Ferlita | Nicholas G. Moneta | Trusts & Estates

In 1992, New York became the first state in the nation to enact a decanting statute, namely, New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) 10-6.6. The statute subsequently was modified several times. The 2011 amendment was notable because it greatly liberalized the statute’s application. Today, New York’s decanting statute is a tool frequently used

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Plan Now for Sunsetting Estate & Gift Tax Exemption
February 12, 2024 | Wendy Hoey Sheinberg | Trusts & Estates | Tax

As we’ve previously discussed, portability is an important feature of an estate plan. Portability allows the surviving spouse to die to “save” any of their predeceased spouse’s unused federal estate and gift exemption amount. A federal tax of 40% is imposed on each dollar that exceeds a decedent’s federal estate and gift exemption amount.


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Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts: A Way to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
February 1, 2024 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates | Tax

You may have heard of Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATS) lately, especially if you have been thinking about using your federal estate and gift tax exemption before the current higher exemption amount of $13.61 million is automatically reduced to about $7 million on January 1, 2026, assuming Congress takes no action. (See my column from last

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The Impact of the CCAM on Trust Decanting in New York
January 26, 2024 | Joseph T. La Ferlita | Nicholas G. Moneta | Trusts & Estates

On Dec. 29, 2023, the Office of the Chief Counsel (the Chief Counsel) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum 202352018 (the CCAM).

Although some have commented on the CCAM’s impact on trust modifications, a further question is what impact, if any, will the CCAM have on trust decantings in New

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The Importance of Estate Planning
January 19, 2024 | Wendy Hoey Sheinberg | Trusts & Estates

When we think about making plans to secure our future, generally the discussions revolve around education, career, family, and finances. Creating a comprehensive estate plan, including effective advanced directives, can elude even the most organized and diligent people. A survey by noted that 1 in 5 people who died during the 2020 pandemic did

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Consider Making Large Gifts before the 2026 Exemption Reduction Kicks In
January 18, 2024 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates | Tax

The current combined federal estate and gift tax exemption amount of $13.61 million per person ($27.22 million per married couple) is scheduled to “sunset” automatically on January 1, 2026, and revert to $5 million indexed for inflation (guesstimated at $7 million), unless Congress takes action. This exemption amount applies to the total taxable gifts made

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Don’t Give Your House to Your Children (While You’re Alive)
January 2, 2024 | Jeffrey S. Greener | Trusts & Estates | Tax

Many of us would like our children to inherit our home once we are gone. More than a few of us think it makes sense to give our home to our children while we are still living. That is not a good idea! Here’s why.

Loss of Step-Up in Basis

Gifting your home to someone

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Are You in Charge of You? Important Changes to New York State’s Health Care Proxy Law
November 29, 2023 | Wendy Hoey Sheinberg | Trusts & Estates

As of November 2023, having a valid Health Care Proxy became easier for New Yorkers. A Health Care Proxy allows a competent adult to appoint an agent to make health care choices for them if they lose the ability to make those decisions for themselves. Two adults who are not appointed in the document must

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