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EstPlan17

Can My Spouse Still Inherit from My Estate If We Were Getting a Divorce When I Died?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

In New York, the surviving spouses of a deceased person have the right to take an “elective share” of their estate. The elective share rule effectively prohibits someone from completely disinheriting the spouse via a will or trust. The scope of the elective share depends on whether the deceased spouse had an estate plan… Read More »

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Does My Will Need a Simultaneous Death Clause?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Here is a question we often get asked by married couples: If we both die at the same time, say in a common car accident, what happens to our respective estates? Does it matter which spouse technically died first, even if the deaths occurred just a couple of minutes–or even a couple of days–apart?… Read More »

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PersRep

The Legal Responsibilities of an Agent Under a Durable Power of Attorney

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

A power of attorney is an estate planning document that authorizes someone else (known as an agent) to act on your behalf. For example, a power of attorney may authorize your agent to sell your house or open a bank account in your name. In New York, it is common practice to have a… Read More »

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EstPlan19

Do I Need to Worry About the Estate Tax?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Unless you own a substantial amount of assets–we are talking in the seven or eight figures–it is unlikely you will ever need to seriously worry about estate or inheritance taxes. It is still a good idea to understand what these taxes are and how they may affect you as a New York resident. Additionally,… Read More »

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EstP1

Will New York Accept a Copy of a Will If the Original Is Missing?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

A will is an important legal document that must be signed not only by the person making the will, but also at least two witnesses who can attest to its authenticity. It is critical to always keep the original, signed will in a safe location that can still be accessible by the maker’s family… Read More »

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EstPl2

Will Placing My Assets in Trust Preserve My Medicaid Eligibility?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

New York’s Medicaid program has strict eligibility requirements. An applicant’s income and overall “resource level” must remain below a certain threshold. But with proper asset protection planning, it is possible for individuals whose resources exceed the threshold to obtain or retain their Medicaid eligibility. One question we often get is, “Can I protect my… Read More »

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EstPlan20

How Do New York Courts Deal With Assets of a Foreign Estate?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

People come from all over the world to work and live in New York State. This can lead to some unique estate planning challenges. For example, say you live outside of New York but maintain significant business assets in the state. After you die, how will the New York courts dispose of these assets?… Read More »

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Who Serves as Executor of My Estate If I Do Not Have a Will?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

One of the key functions of a will is naming someone to serve as the executor of your estate. So what happens if you do not leave a will? In that case, New York law determines who is entitled to serve as administrator of the estate. (Executor and administrator mean the same thing in… Read More »

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Executor

How Do You Compensate the Executor of a New York Estate?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

When making your will, one issue you need to consider is how to compensate the executor of your estate. If you have a particularly complex estate–i.e., one with a lot of assets that will take time to liquidate–it may take your executor many months (or years) to complete the New York probate process. Indeed,… Read More »

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Trusts

Understanding the Uses and Limits of a “No-Contest” Clause in a New York Will or Trust

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

One of the reasons you make an estate plan is to minimize the risk your family (or other legal heirs) will resort to litigation after your death. To that end, many wills and trusts include an in terrorem or “no-contest” clause. Basically, this is language that states if a beneficiary unsuccessfully challenges a will… Read More »

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