Trusts & Estates

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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New 2024 Estate and Gift Tax Exemption Amounts
November 14, 2023 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates

The federal estate and gift tax exemption (the combined amount you can give away to beneficiaries other than your spouse or charities during life and at death without paying gift or estate tax) is increasing to $13.61 million per person as of January 1, 2024, up from $12.92 million in 2023. This is an increase

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Using Your IRA to Make Gifts to Charity
November 1, 2023 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates

If you are at least 70 ½ years old and have a traditional IRA, you can give up to $100,000 from your IRA account directly to charity. This direct transfer, called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), avoids having to  recognize the assets transferred to the charity in your gross income on your tax return.


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Estate Planning After Death: 20/20 Hindsight
September 28, 2023 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates

Did you know that actions can be taken after you die (i.e., post-mortem) to achieve the best results possible for your testamentary plan? Some estate plans are intentionally structured to give your beneficiaries and your executor/trustee the ability to make educated post-mortem planning decisions after your death.

For instance, bequests can be altered through post-mortem

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Does New York R-E-S-P-E-C-T Handwritten Wills?
September 18, 2023 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died in Michigan in 2018, leaving not one but two handwritten wills. The 2010 will was found in a locked cabinet, signed on every page and notarized, while the 2014 will, which the courts would usually view as superseding the first and which was written in a spiral notebook

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Decanting a ‘HEMS Only’ Trust in Favor of a Supplemental Needs Trust
September 11, 2023 | 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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Strategies for Giving to a Favorite Charity
July 6, 2023 | Patricia C. Marcin | Trusts & Estates

This article appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of  Conservation News, a publication of the North Shore Land Alliance.

You may already know about many of the amazing things the North Shore Land Alliance has done to protect our beloved Long Island. The mission of the Land Alliance is: “To conserve and safeguard Long island’s natural

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The Gallo Exemption: What It Is and Why You Should Know About It
June 15, 2023 | Joseph T. La Ferlita | Nicholas G. Moneta | Trusts & Estates

While the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax is complex, most estate practitioners who regularly deal with it eventually obtain a level of comfort, if not an expertise, concerning it. Such practitioners counsel their clients about avoiding or minimizing exposure to the tax. Some of the typical tools in the arsenal involve the GST tax annual exclusion

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