Estate and Business Planning Legal Blog

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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Monday, February 15, 2021

Incorporating A Second Home Into Your Estate Plan

It is not uncommon for New Yorkers to spend a few months in Florida or some other state, especially during the winter season.  Whether you are heading to the Berskshires, the Carolinas, or some other destination, there are some relatively easy steps you should take in order to ensure that your estate plan takes your second home into consideration.

  The probate of one’s will, or the administration of one’s estate, will occur in the state where you reside.  If you are a New York resident, the probate process is usually straightforward and relatively simple.  If you own real property in another state, you will be required to probate your will there as well, resulting in a second, or “ancillary”, probate.

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Monday, January 25, 2021

Is Estate Planning Just for the Wealthy?

The biggest myth about estate planning is that it’s only for the wealthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you have an estate, you need an estate plan. All that an estate means is that you own something of value that you want to protect. Therefore, if you own anything at all that you’d like to pass along to someone else, you need an estate plan.
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Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Necessity of Having a Power of Attorney--Recent Changes in the Law

Clients often ask why they need to have power of attorney forms drafted for them.  The simple answer is that in the event one becomes disabled and is unable, physically or mentally, to manage their own finances, pay bills, etc., the power of attorney is the easiest way to enable someone you have chosen to act on your behalf.  If someone becomes disabled and has not executed a power of attorney, then that persons family or friends must petition the court to have the person declared incompetent.  It is a rather lengthy and expensive process, for one.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

LLC Pros and Cons

A limited liability company, also called an LLC, is a business structure that combines the advantages of a partnership with the liability protection of a corporation. An LLC can have one or more owners, who are called members. Members of an LLC can be individuals or businesses, and there isn’t a limit to the number of members an LLC can have. Like all business types, LLCs offer both advantages and disadvantages. Below is an overview of the pros and cons of LLCs.

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Friday, December 11, 2020

Consolidating Your Assets to Simplify LIfe

          It is extremely important, especially as one gets older, to consolidate assets, rather than having them scattered at different institutions, in different accounts.  It is quite common for clients to have several bank accounts and/or certificate of deposits, sometimes to earn better interest, and sometimes to also get the $250,000 protection which is available from the government for bank accounts.  The reality is that banks are not going go out of business, so the $250,000 limit should not be a major concern.  Yes, it is important to diversify; however, there are a number of drawbacks.  For one, clients often get overwhelmed with keeping track of the due dates for CDs, who the listed beneficiaries are, etc.

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Common New York Business Agreement Mistakes

When drafting a New York business agreement, it’s imperative that you do so with the assistance of an experienced New York business law attorney. Otherwise, you run the risk of making mistakes that can cause headaches for years to come. Luckily, most New York business agreement mistakes are easily avoidable—you just need to know what to look out for.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Using Your Spare Time to Get Organized


Since so many of us have more free time these days, with the pandemic affecting us, it is a good time to get your finances and legal affairs in order.  While it can be a daunting task, the way to handle it in a less stressful manner is to choose one area at a time.

One can start by simply compiling a list of one's assets.  When monthly or quarterly bank and investment account statements come presents an opportunity to start this list.  You should include account numbers, phone numbers and the approximate value of the assets.

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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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