We have answered many of the common, and not so common questions we’ve been asked over the years about Probate, Trusts, Wills and other Estate Planning matters….right here on this website.

To find the answer to your question, you can type your question in the search box just down to the right and click search. All of the answers or information we have will be shown to you immediately.

Or if you know exactly what topic your question relates to, you can click on the appropriate category shown under Categories, which is also down and just to the right. That will show all related questions and answers too.

{ 0 comments }

New York is one of the few states with an estate tax system that is stricter than the Federal system and, last year, new laws were passed to try and change this. There are some parts of the law that work better for the majority of those who have high-value estates, but for those with estates valued at a high, but moderate amount, there could be issues, meaning your best option is to have a Long Island estate attorney assist in your estate planning.

One of the main things that was passed in the new law back in March, 2014 was that the amount of value in the estate has to be higher before it is subject to New York State estate taxes. Instead of $1,000,000 as it was previously, the amount the estate has to be between April 1, 2014 and April 1, 2015 is $2,062,500. Between April 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016, this amount will be $3,125,000. Each year, the amount will go up until it matches the federal amount.

However, there was one thing written into the law that can cause many issues for those who are subject to the estate law and is being called the estate tax “cliff”. Under the old law, if you went over the exclusion limit, you were only taxed on the amount that you went over by. This would mean that if you had $1,005,000 in assets when you died, you would only have to pay taxes on the $5,000 over the exclusion amount. With the new law, you would now have to pay estate taxes on the entire estate, something that could be a huge tax increase for those who were right on the cusp of having to pay estate taxes.

Another major change was that a three-year lookback was added when it comes to determining the size of estates. This means that when the assets are determined when valuing an estate, all gifts given within the three years prior to the decedent’s death would be taken into account. This part of the provision only would include gifts that were given after April 1, 2014, meaning at the time this article is written, New York State would not be looking back a full three years, but the three year lookback will become more and more relevant, and by 2017 should achieve its full strength – a look back of a full three years. This does add a new level of technical issues when planning out an estate since it now means that simply giving assets away to heirs or others would not be an option to avoid estate taxes.

With the tax rules how they are now written, you need a knowledgeable Long Island estate attorney on your side to help you plan out your estate in a way where you can maximize the amount your heirs get. Planning out your estate, especially when it is large enough where it could be subject to estate taxes, is an area of the law where you need a professional and should not be attempted alone. Call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.

{ 0 comments }

How Can I Use a Supplemental Needs Trust To Get Medicaid on Long Island

February 26, 2015

Allowing for Payment for Expenses While on Government Assistance When dealing with a seriously disabled person, how you handle that person’s finances can be essential when it comes to dealing with government benefits. Too many assets, and a person can either be denied benefits in the first place or end up having them taken away. […]

Read the full article →

What Happens if There Aren’t Enough Assets in a Long Island Estate?

February 14, 2015

Who Gets Paid First When There Isn’t Enough Money To Pay Everyone It is not uncommon when someone dies that the estate ends up owing more than the estate actually has in assets. Many times, people end up wracking up large medical bills in their final days, or they may end up spending most of […]

Read the full article →

Do I Need An Attorney To Make A Will On Long Island?

February 2, 2015

Could Doing Your Own Will Cost Your Beneficiaries? If you look up estate planning online, you can find almost countless resources on all of the ways that you can write your own will in order to save yourself some legal fees. The parties behind these resources try to convince the customer that DIY when it […]

Read the full article →

Appealing a Surrogate’s Court Judgment on Long Island

January 20, 2015

How to Move Forward When You Disagree With the Court’s Decision Appeals are relatively common in all areas of the law because they offer a party to a legal matter to have another court review a decision to make sure that it is proper. On Long Island, Surrogate’s Court decisions, like all court decisions in Nassau […]

Read the full article →

When Does a Long Island Attorney Charge a Contingency Fee?

January 9, 2015

Understanding Fees in Estate Cases Contingency fees are they type of legal fee where the attorney agrees to take a percentage of the total amount won in a legal claim. If the case isn’t won, the attorney would not collect any fee at all, despite having worked on it. Contingency fees are the type of […]

Read the full article →

What Are The Duties of a Long Island Guardian?

January 2, 2015

Know What the Guardian’s Obligations are on Long Island Having to petition the court in either Nassau or Suffolk County to be appointed Guardian over an adult loved one can be emotionally taxing. The legal procedure itself can be complicated, meaning that to make sure that you get the outcome you need, hiring a Long […]

Read the full article →

What Happens if There Aren’t Enough Assets in a Long Island Estate?

December 23, 2014

Who Gets Paid When There Isn’t Enough Money To Pay Everyone It is not uncommon when someone dies that the estate ends up owing more than the estate actually has in assets. Many times, people end up wracking up large medical bills in their final days, or they may end up spending most of their […]

Read the full article →

Do I Need An Attorney To Make A Will On Long Island?

December 15, 2014

Could Doing Your Own Will Cost Your Beneficiaries? If you look up estate planning online, you can find almost countless resources on all of the ways that you can write your own will in order to save yourself some legal fees. The parties behind these resources try to convince the customer that DIY when it […]

Read the full article →

How Can I Use a Supplemental Needs Trust To Get Medicaid on Long Island?

December 5, 2014

Allowing for Payments for Expenses While on Government Assistance When dealing with a seriously disabled person how you handle that person’s finances can be essential when it comes to dealing with government benefits. Too many assets, and a person can either be denied benefits in the first place or end up having them taken away. […]

Read the full article →