These days, with everything from email to banking accounts to home utilities available online, it can feel like the world is literally at your fingertips. People often gravitate towards online accounts for their accessibility and convenience. However, many individuals often fail to account for their online assets in their estate plans, leaving their heirs unable to access and benefit from them. It is crucial for those who are looking to create an estate plan for the first time to specify any digital assets they own and how to access them within the estate planning documents. For those with an existing estate plan, it is essential that the estate plan is updated regularly as new digital assets are acquired. Continue reading “Estate Planning Considerations for Digital Assets”
More often than not, a Last Will and Testament fails to address a decedent’s wishes for how to distribute his or her personal property. Personal property may include low-value tangible items, keepsakes, high-end artwork, jewelry, antiques, coin collections or valuable wine or liquor collections, among other things. Continue reading “Personal Property Should Always Be Addressed in a Last Will and Testament”
While a testator has the ability to name anyone as his or her executor, there are certain grounds for disqualification. According to the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 707, a nominated executor is ineligible if he or she is: Continue reading “New Executor Nomination Form Explicitly Requests Criminal History”
A person under 65 years old may create a first-party supplemental needs trust for income in excess of the monthly amount allowed by Medicaid. A person is entitled to fund this trust until the age of 65 years old and will be entitled to the resources in the trust until he or she dies. Furthermore, a first-party supplemental needs trust allows a person to designate a trustee to make payments on his or her behalf. It is worth noting that a trustee may be limited to the powers enumerated in the trust’s terms and conditions. Therefore, a person may choose to expand a trustee’s power or limit his or her power by setting forth specific guidelines.
An executor of an estate is the person named to act on behalf of the decedent. An executor has a fiduciary duty to ensure that the decedent’s wishes for the disposition of property and assets are carried out accordingly. In addition, the executor is responsible for the administrative process of an estate, including paying taxes and creditors. He or she must perform the following duties and responsibilities, among others: Continue reading “Executor’s Compensation Can Be Previously Decided Upon”
In New York State, a gifting rider grants an agent the power to gift assets and resources. In addition, an agent may utilize the gifting rider to transfer assets out of the principal’s name for Medicaid purposes. For this reason, incorporating a gifting rider into a comprehensive power of attorney may be essential to managing and protecting assets in the event the principal becomes incapacitated. In addition, without a gifting rider, an agent is limited in their power. Continue reading “Adding a Gifting Rider to a Comprehensive Power of Attorney May Assist During Catastrophic Events”
Today, furry friends have become part of the family. Recently, more pet owners are looking to ensure that their pets are taken care of in the event he or she becomes incapacitated or dies. One way to ensure that a beloved pet is taken care is to establish a comprehensive pet trust. A pet trust is a valid legal directive that provides protections to ensure that a pet is well taken care of in accordance with the owner’s wishes. Continue reading “Establishing a Pet Trust Will Protect Your Furry Friend”
A power of attorney is an advance directive that is designed to designate an agent to make financial decisions on a person’s behalf in the event he or she becomes incapacitated. There are a number of benefits to developing a comprehensive power of attorney.
Establish Who Will Make Decisions on Your Behalf
In the event that a person becomes incapacitated and can no longer make decisions, a designated agent that you trust will now be able to act on your behalf to make important financial decisions. If a person does not have a comprehensive power of attorney, a guardianship proceeding may need to be commenced. Continue reading “Benefits of Establishing a Comprehensive Power of Attorney”
The main component to executing a Last Will and Testament or any advance directive is that a testator must have testamentary capacity at the time of execution. In accordance with New York State law, a person must be of “sound mind.”
Specifically, the testator “must have the intelligent knowledge of his or her natural objects of their bounty, property, and possessions, and must know what he or she wishes to do with those assets.” Continue reading “The Fundamentals of Capacity when Executing a Will”
An executor of an estate is the person named to act on behalf of the decedent. An executor has a fiduciary duty to ensure that the decedent’s wishes for the disposition of his or her property and assets are carried out accordingly. In addition, the executor is responsible for the administrative process of an estate, including paying taxes and creditors. Furthermore, an executor is not required to have prior experience or knowledge in the field. Continue reading “Executors Play an Important Role”