Keyword Search Result: inheritance

Am I responsible for my father’s debts?

The Facts: My uncle died without a Will. He was never married and has no children. He owned a house and a car and likely died with significant debts. No one in the family wants to handle his estate because they are concerned that they will be personally responsible for paying that debt. The Questions: […]

Estate Planning for Small Business Owners.

The Facts: I am the owner of a family operated business. My wife and my son John are employed by the business. My other son, Tony, has no interest in being involved with the business. When my wife and I die, I want John to inherit the business which is my largest asset. However, I […]

Consistency Is the Key

The Facts: My mother’s Will contains provisions that are inconsistent with other documents she has signed and with what she told my sister about the distribution of her estate. The Question: Are the Will provisions void or are the other documents unenforceable? The Answer: Unfortunately, the situation you’ve described is quite common and often creates […]

Some Implications of a Life Estate

The Facts: My father has decided to gift his house to me and my brother and to retain a life estate for himself. This is part of his Medicaid planning. The Question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of making this transfer? The Answer: The advantages of putting the house in your names now is […]

Will My Brother Still Inherit?

The Facts: My mother died recently. She and my brother, who is my only sibling, had not spoken to each other in over a decade. In her Will, my mother disinherited my brother. On the beneficiary designation form for her IRA, my mother named my father, who predeceased my mother, as the sole beneficiary. She […]

Changes to New York’s Estate Tax Law

The Facts: I heard that the New York’s estate tax laws changed and that the value of an estate that can pass estate tax-free was increased. The Question: Is that true? If so, what is the current NYS estate tax exemption? The Answer: Fortunately for New Yorkers, the tax laws have changed and the tax […]

Can My Mother’s Estate Be Passed Directly to My Children?

The Facts: My mother recently died. In her Will she left her entire estate to me. If I had died before my mother, her estate would have passed to my children in equal shares. I would like my inheritance from my mother to pass to my children. The Question: Is there a way I can […]

Your ‘To Do’ List Should Include Updating Your Will

We all know that time flies by and that important things are sometimes put on the back burner as we rush around taking care of our day to day responsibilities. We have also all heard heartbreaking stories about people who had every intention of revising their estate plans but, failed to take the necessary steps […]

Estate Planning With a Trust and Life Estate

The Facts: My father is planning on putting his house into an irrevocable trust and naming me as trustee. He will be naming my sister and me as beneficiaries of the trust. The Questions: Can my father sell his house once it is in the trust? If my father goes into a nursing home, can […]

What is the Role of the Executor in Settling an Estate?

The Facts: Some people who have been named as executors told me their jobs were quite simple while others complained about all the time and effort it takes to administer an estate. The Question: What are the responsibilities of an executor and why does the complexity of the process vary so much? The Answer: The […]

What if I Don’t Want My Inheritance?

The Issue: My mother recently died.  In her Will she left her entire estate to me. If I had died before my mother, her estate would have passed to my children in equal shares. I would like my inheritance from my mother to pass to my children.  Is there a way I can accomplish that? If […]

Will or Beneficiary Form: Which Controls?

The Facts: I was told that the money in the joint account I have with my son and the money in my IRA will not be distributed according to my Will when I die. The Question: Is that correct? The Answer: Yes, that is correct. Many people mistakenly believe that, following their death, the provisions in their Will […]

Who is Required to Get Notice of the Probate of My Will?

The Facts: My father died 2 years ago. My mother is receiving hospice care. In her Will my mother leaves her estate to me and my sister. Her Will provides that my estranged brother who has not been seen or heard from by anyone in the family for over a decade is not to receive anything. […]

Should the House be Put in an Irrevocable Trust?

The Facts: My elderly father is putting his house into an irrevocable trust and naming me and my brother as beneficiaries of the trust. The Questions: If my father decides to move out of his house, will we be able to sell the house while my father is still alive? Would it be better if my father […]

Children’s Inheritance When a Parent Dies

The Facts: I was married for 20 years and have two sons ages 19 and 13. I am now divorced and my ex-husband has remarried. Despite the settlement papers we signed in connection with our divorce, my ex never paid child support or contributed to my sons’ education expenses and has not been part of my […]

Money Judgment May Impact on an Inheritance

The Facts: When I was unable to pay my medical bills, my doctor obtained a money judgment against me. The judgment was docketed in the county clerk’s office a few years ago. My father just passed away and I inherited his house. The Questions: Can the doctor’s judgment lien attach to the property I am inheriting even […]

What Happens if the Trust is Not Funded?

The Question: What, if anything, can be done if someone created a trust but failed to transfer any assets into the trust? My father intended to transfer his house and the funds in his brokerage account into his revocable trust to avoid probate and a possible Will contest by my brother. Unfortunately, my father never signed […]

The Who, What, Why Etc. of Contesting a Will

Clients often express concern that a dissatisfied family member may contest the probate of their Will. While a Will contest can be costly both in terms of money and time, only certain individuals can object to the probate of a Will and only certain grounds for objecting are acceptable. A person is able to file […]

What Happens if you Die Without a Will?

Many people mistakenly assume that, if they die without a Will, all of their assets are taken by the government. Although seizing a person’s assets may be a great way for the government to raise revenue, unless a person owes the government money, the government will not step in and seize a person’s assets when […]

Who is the Record Owner of Your Property?

With low interest rates and a glut of properties on the market, an increasing number of clients are looking to purchase real property. Many of those clients are purchasing the property with friends and family members and have questions about how best to take title to the property. Since joint ownership of property can take […]

What is Probate?

As an attorney that focuses on estate planning, I am frequently asked what “probate” means. Technically, probate is the court procedure by which a decedent’s Will is either proved to be valid or found to be invalid and unenforceable. However, many people use the word probate in a more general sense to mean the process […]

Wills vs. Living Trusts: What’s Right for You?

The saying that nothing is certain except death and taxes is not accurate. The fact that taxes will increase is also a certainty, as is the fact that many people try to avoid paying taxes. Unfortunately, some attorneys take advantage of the public’s aversion to paying taxes and convince people that living trusts, also known […]

Children From a Prior Marriage & Property Ownership

The Facts: My father had a daughter, Jane, from a prior marriage. He and Jane did not stay in touch. Since he wanted me to have his house after his death and wanted to avoid probate, my father put my name on the deed to his house after my mother’s death. The deed does not identify […]

Estate Planning, Legal Separation and Inheritance

The Facts: My husband and I agreed to separate over 20 years ago. Since neither of us wanted to remarry, we never filed for a divorce. In my Will my estate is divided equally between my current partner and my son. The Question: I was told that my husband may have a claim against my estate when […]