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Category Archives: Estate Planning

ElderPlan

Can a Creditor Reach My Joint Checking Account After I Die?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

In a New York probate proceeding, the creditors of a deceased person (the decedent) have priority over any heirs. That is to say, any debts owed by the decedent must be paid before the heirs receive anything under the will. But what about non-probate property, i.e., assets that do not pass under the decedent’s… Read More »

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Newlywed

How Can Getting Remarried Affect Your Estate Planning?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Getting remarried can raise a number of estate planning issues, particularly if you have children from the prior marriage. Some people think they may not need to alter their estate plan at all–assuming they had one to begin with. Indeed, one common argument we hear is that “my new spouse will take care of… Read More »

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WillDocument

Why Does a Will Need to Be Witnessed?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

New York law requires a valid will to be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the will, although they do not need to read it first or know its specific contents. The testator–the person making the will–must, however, declare the document they are all signing is… Read More »

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Couple

What are the Benefits–and Potential Risks–of a Joint Tenancy Bank Account?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

There are a number of estate planning tools that can help reduce the size of your future probate estate. One such tool is a joint tenancy. This basically refers to property that is co-owned by two individuals with the understanding that the survivor inherits full ownership outright. For example, let’s say you set up… Read More »

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EstPlanning

Dealing with Paternity Claims During the Probate of a New York Estate

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Contrary to what you might think from watching movies and television, it is actually quite uncommon for anyone to contest a Will. For one thing, not just anyone can challenge the validity of a Will. Under New York law, only those persons “whose interest in property or in the estate of the testator would… Read More »

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ElderCouple

New York Powers of Attorney and Statutory Gift Riders

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

A power of attorney is a legal document giving someone the authority to act as your “agent” for purposes of spending your money or otherwise disposing of your property. Your agent may only exercise the authority you grant in the power of attorney. This means that you can give the agent broad or limited… Read More »

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EstPlan19

How can I sign my Estate Planning documents?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

New York is currently at the center of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has forced state agencies, including courts and law offices, to make certain adjustments to their normal procedures. As you probably know, Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a series of executive orders closing certain businesses and modifying how others need to function during… Read More »

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ElderCPlan

What Are My Options Now that “Stretch” IRAs Are No Longer Allowed?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

You have probably read in the news about the “end of the stretch IRA.” You may not know what this refers to, or how it may affect your own retirement and estate planning. Here is a brief overview of what is going on. There is actually no such thing as a “stretch IRA.” It… Read More »

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Guardianship2

Top Five Reasons to Sign a New York Health Care Proxy

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

For all you New Yorkers who still do not have a Health Care Proxy, here are the Top Five Reasons you should sign a New York Health Care Proxy: 1. Choose your own agent. By signing a health care proxy, you maintain control over who can make medical decisions in case you can’t make… Read More »

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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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