Estate and Business Planning Legal Blog

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Estate Planning for Seniors

As a senior citizen, it’s vitally important that you have an estate plan in place. Not only can you use an estate plan to leave assets to your loved ones, but an estate plan allows you to identify who will make certain important decisions on your behalf should you ever become unable to do so on your own. In this article, we examine some important estate planning documents for seniors.

Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is probably the most popular estate planning document. A law will and testament outlines who will get your property after you die.

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Probating a New York Will in Florida

Clients who are moving or have moved from New York to Florida frequently ask if the wills prepared for them in New York are valid.  The short answer is yes, they are.  Florida attorneys may tell clients differently, but the reality is that as long as one can produce a sworn affidavit stating that the will was executed in New York, in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, the New York document will be accepted by the Florida courts.  The rule generally is that as long as you signed a will which is valid in the state where you executed it (assuming you were a resident of that state), then it can be probated anywhere. 

Probating a will generally in Florida, however, is a much lengthier and more complicated process than probating the will in New York or even New Jersey.
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Monday, July 5, 2021

Tips for Being a Snowbird on a Budget

Are you tired of the cold but concerned about the cost? If so, you aren’t alone. Although many people aspire to live the snowbird lifestyle, expenses often get in the way of making this dream a reality. However, what most people don’t realize is that, with a little planning, the snowbird lifestyle is available to practically anyone. In this article, we share our favorite tips for being a snowbird on a budget.

Tip #1: Create a Budget

The first step to becoming a snowbird on a budget is—you guessed it—create a budget! As an aspiring snowbird, you should identify your current income and expenses.

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

How a Business Can Successfully Deal with Employees

For the business owner, especially small, family-run businesses, relationships with employees need to be handled properly so as to avoid unnecessary litigation and turmoil within the workplace.  As a starter, even with a small business, you should have an employee handbook, which clearly explains the duties and obligations of both employer and employee. Set forth in the handbook should be the company policies regarding holidays, sick days, maternity leave and vacation.  Retirement is also an issue which should be explained in the handbook.  What is expected of an employee can be generally stated in a handbook--i.

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

New York's New Power of Attorney Legislation

On December 15, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed a new bill into law which is designed to simplify the power of attorney form used in the State of New York and make it easier for clients to have the form recognized by institutions.  A power of attorney is an essential estate planning document which usually obviates the need to commence a guardianship proceeding when a family member becomes incapacitated.  It allows the agent to pay bills and otherwise handle the person's finances.

The new power of attorney form, which will be effective for al power of attorney forms signed on or after June 13, 2021, is intended to simplify the current form.  One aspect of it is that it permits language which is "substantially compliant" with the legislation, rather than requiring it to be exact.

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Will vs. Living Trust: What is the Best Option for You?

When it comes to estate planning, there’s a lot to consider. In addition to deciding who to leave your assets to after you pass, you must determine which estate planning instruments are the most appropriate for your unique situation. In this article, we examine the differences between a will and a living trust. In addition, we discuss what you should consider when deciding which of these two documents to include in your estate plan.

What is a will?

A will is an estate planning document that dictates how your property will be distributed when you pass away.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Is Estate Planning Necessary?

For a variety of reasons, many people are under the impression that they don’t need an estate plan. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Estate planning is for everyone. Without an estate plan in place, settling your affairs after you’re gone could have a long-lasting and costly impact on your loved ones. In this article, we examine the top four reasons that estate planning is necessary.
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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Estate Tax Law Changes On the Horizon

There has been a good deal of talk lately about changes to the tax laws, with the primary purpose of closing loopholes and having the wealthy pay more in taxes.  Two proposals, if enacted, could have serious consequences for people who are engaging in estate planning.

One proposal being touted is reducing the federal estate tax exemption, which is currently $11.7 million per person.  Several years ago, the exemption was only $3.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Snowbird Moving Tips

Florida is a haven for people looking to escape the cold winter months in New York and other northern states. Those who come to Florida each winter to escape the frigid northern temperatures are affectionately known as "snowbirds." If you are a northerner who is considering spending your next winter down south, there are steps you should take to make sure your journey is a success. In this article, we discuss some important snowbird moving tips.

Tell Your Bank You’re Moving

Before trading the cold for the sunshine, tell your bank and other financial institutions that you’re moving.

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Monday, March 15, 2021

A Comparison of Probate and Wills in Florida and New York

Generally speaking, if you execute a last will and testament which conforms to the requirements set by the State in which you are a resident, that will is valid in every state.  In Florida, the execution requirements are a bit more stringent than they are in New York.  Not only must the witnesses sign a self-proving affidavit in the presence of a notary, but the testator or testatrix (the person making the will) must sign as well.  New York law does not require this, which means that if a New York will is submitted for probate in Florida, you will need an affidavit by an attorney licensed to practice law in New York, stating that the will was executed in conformity with the laws in New York.  Similarly, a will executed in Florida, in accordance with Florida law, is valid in New York.
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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Preventing Elder Exploitation with an Estate Plan

Elderly people are highly vulnerable to financial exploitation. This is because cognitive impairment often diminishes the ability of older adults to make sound financial decisions and to detect scams. Florida, with its large senior population, is a hotbed of elder exploitation. In this article, we examine the ways in which an estate plan can help prevent elder exploitation.

Elder Exploitation in Florida

Elder exploitation occurs when someone wrongfully and knowingly appropriates the property of a person who is over 60 years of age.
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At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, we are pleased to offer legal assistance to clients located in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Kings and New York Counties specifically but not limited to Garden City, Jericho, East Meadow, Mineola, Syosset, Roslyn, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Hicksville, Plainview, Merrick, Wantagh, Bellmore, Rockville Center, West Hempstead, Little Neck, Douglaston, Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Astoria, etc., as well as clients located within the state of Florida.

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