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 }

Types of Custodial Accounts and How They Work on Long Island

by Albert Gurevich on October 6, 2014

There are situations when someone wants to transfer money or other property to a child and for whatever reason, usually to avoid costs, does not want to set up a formal trust. Transferring money directly to a minor may be difficult for many reasons, including that many financial institutions will not open an account for a minor since they are not able to enter into contracts. For this reason, there are laws written to create custodian accounts which would allow the transfer of money and property to children and allow some control over their accounts, without starting a trust. In any case where you are looking to transfer money to a minor, call a Long Island estate attorney to assist in making sure the transfer goes smoothly. Transfers under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) allow transfers of many types of assets to an account set up for the minor’s benefit. Such accounts deal with bank deposits, insurance proceeds and securities owned by the child. On the other hand, transfers that take place under the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) are quite similar in how it treats the minor’s assets, but will also allow for transfer of real property and almost any other kind of assets.

Long Island UTMA and UGMA Accounts

What both of these accounts entail is a custodian, usually a parent of grandparent, managing an account on behalf of the minor, an account that any donor can put money into. At the age of 18 for UTMA assets and 21 for UGMA assets, the minor is allowed to do whatever is remaining of those assets, without interference by the custodian. Transfers or gifts made under both the UTMA and UGMA are irrevocable, meaning, for example, if they were started with the intention of being a college fund and the minor does not go to college, they would still get the remaining proceeds when they reach the age of majority.

Long Island Child Performer Trusts

Another type of custodial account exists in New York and just a few other states and is meant to meet the needs of child performers. This is called a blocked trust account or a Coogan account. Under this type of custodial account, 15% of a child performer’s proceeds must be put into a special account for that child. This minimum amount must be directly deposited into the trust, but the parents of the minor can opt to put a higher percentage in. The account proceeds cannot be touched until the child reaches the age of 18. Also, once the amount of money in the account is up to $250,000, a trust company must be hired to deal with the account. If the law when it comes to a blocked trust account is not followed, it could mean that the child performer’s work permit would be revoked for the next year, keeping them from performing. Custodial accounts are a great choice for helping to plan the future finances of a minor, especially when it comes to planning for something like college or other future expected expenses. Calling a Long Island estate attorney will help set you on the right path to figuring out which kind of account meets your needs the best. Give us a call at (516) 777-0647.

{ 0 comments }

Is the Trustee Required to Provide a Copy of the Trust or Financial Records

September 29, 2014

Knowing Your Rights as a Long Island Trust Beneficiary While the majority of trusts on Long Island are handled without any issues between the beneficiary and the trustee, there are times where tensions may arise. A big source of tension can be caused by a lack of information being exchanged between the trustee and the […]

Read the full article →

Is Ingratiating Oneself with an Elderly Person Undue Influence?

September 17, 2014

When is Friendliness with an Elderly Person Crossing the Line One of the more common themes that people argue when they are contesting a will is that someone who has suddenly become a major beneficiary in the will somehow used undue influence to shut out those who were the beneficiaries in a prior will or […]

Read the full article →

Defending a Will Contest on Long Island

September 14, 2014

Strategies for the Executor When Someone Objects There are numerous reasons why a party may want to object to either part or all of a will in Long Island, New York. In some cases, a will objection may just be the result of family dynamics that lead to infighting when the testator dies. In other cases, […]

Read the full article →

How do I Bring Forgery Charges Against Somebody in Long Island?

September 2, 2014

How to Handle a Fake or Tampered Will While not common, wills do get tampered with, and even faked all together, from time to time. Will forgery is not only immoral and no only leads to disputes in Surrogate’s Court, but it is also illegal. In fact, will forgery is a Class D felony in […]

Read the full article →

How do I Fight Allegations of Mismanagement of a Long Island Estate?

August 19, 2014

Make Sure to Protect Yourself as Executor When the testator dies and you are appointed executor, you are facing a responsibility that is akin to having a job. From the date of the death, you have specific things that need to be done to ensure the proper administration of the will. However, there are some steps […]

Read the full article →

Persons Excluded from Serving as a Long Island Executor or Administrator

August 8, 2014

An executor or personal representative of a Long Island estate has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and heirs to act in a responsible and legal manner. Under the New York Probate laws, specific persons are excluded from serving as executors or personal representatives of a Long Island estate including the following: Persons under the […]

Read the full article →

What are Normal Attorneys’ Fees on Long Island?

August 4, 2014

How to Avoid Paying too Much One of the first things that most people want to know when they are looking to litigate and estate or probate a will is how much the entire procedure will cost. In fact, when it comes to attorneys’ fees, there isn’t a sure answer since there are many factors […]

Read the full article →

Can an Attorney who Made a Decedent’s Will Represent the Executor in Court?

July 30, 2014

Determining the Effect of Ethical Concerns When Administering an Estate A family of someone who recently died may desire to have the same attorney who did the estate planning represent the executor. Attorneys, on the other hand, have to be concerned with their ethical responsibilities and making sure that there is no conflict of interest. […]

Read the full article →

Is Real Estate Included When Calculating Executor Commissions on Long Island?

July 23, 2014

Serving as executor is a huge responsibility. It is for that reason that it is written into the law in New York that when a person serves as executor, they are entitled to a commission that equals a percentage of the estate based on the total amount of that estate. Determining the amount of the […]

Read the full article →