A Clear Will Doesn't Always Avoid a Family Feud, But Communication Can
An organized estate plan is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your family--but just having it in order isn't enough. Communicating your intentions to your children, spouse, and other beneficiaries--OR to any of these parties that would expect to have a claim but you have chosen to... »
Making Sense of a Power of Attorney--What It Covers, What It Doesn't, And What You Need to Watch Out For
Q: My mother (now 77 years old) made me the primary agent under her power of attorney. It’s a ten-page document and very confusing.  What am I legally permitted and/or obligated to do?  What is my legal exposure if I act on her behalf? A: This is a question... »
Seminar: Gun Laws In New York, April 7, 2017
Alison Arden Besunder will be presenting at the National Business Institute seminar Gun Laws in New York on April 7, 2017. Event description, registration information, agenda and speaker bios can be found below.  Who Should AttendThis basic-to-intermediate level seminar is intended for attorneys. The content will be useful for law enforcement, government... »
Prince Dies Without a Will
Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sister, claims that the artist died with no will in place, and for the time being judges have confirmed that. This means that Minnesota probate court will appoint a personal representative to determine the distribution of his assets based on statues and federal tax code, and... »
Robin Williams' Estate Finally Settled After Family Feud
You may recall reading our post last year lauding how Robin Williams protected his family by minimizing estate taxes using real estate holding trusts and providing for his adult children through trusts. Unfortunately, his planning still did not allay a family feud. His estimated $100 million estate was to be inherited... »
Leaving it All to the Birds--New York Millionaire Wills $100,000 to 32 Cockatiels
You made your money, you should be able to decide where it goes. And so believed Leslie Ann Mandel, a Manhattan entrepreneur and millionaire who willed $100,000 to her 32 Cockatiels, dog, and cat. The animals were named individually in her will, and her instructions were specific: “It is my... »
Can Frequent Flyer Miles Be Inherited?
Can frequent flyer miles be inherited? The short answer is, potentially. The fine print in most membership guides stipulates that transfers are not allowed under any circumstances, but attorneys like Robert K. Kirkland argue that digital assets such as frequent flyer miles and hotel points are "definitely an item... »
Same-Sex Couple's Attempt to Draw Up Wills and Assign Custody Lands Them in the Supreme Court
Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer's close call with an oncoming truck made them realize they needed to provide for each other, and their children. But their trip to a Detroit lawyer's office to draw up their wills and assign custody of their children brought grave news. The lawyer told the couple that... »
Pre-Nuptial Agreements
I am often asked "Do I need a prenuptial agreement?"  "What should be in the prenuptial agreement?"  "How do I talk to my spouse about a prenuptial agreement?" While I do not handle divorce actions for clients, nuptial agreements can be a key part of a lifetime plan and an... »
Riddle Me This: When is a Retirement Account Not a Retirement Account?
Answer:  when it's inherited from someone else, silly! Many clients use their IRA for a significant, if not primary, part of their retirement plan. After all, both traditional IRA’s and ROTH IRAs are attractive for many reasons, chief among them tax-free growth and creditor protection. Bankruptcy protection for your own... »
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