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Estate Planning

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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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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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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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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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Contesting a Will: Does it Make Sense?

 

Clients will often approach an attorney when they discover


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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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