Possible Changes to New York State Estate and Gift Tax
Pending Changes to Estate Tax Law - February 2014 Governor Cuomo's recently released budget bill proposes important changes to the New York estate tax and the New York income taxation of certain trusts. Proposed changes require high net worth individuals and trustees of certain trusts to consider taking action between now... »
February Brain Teaser
Brain Teaser In the left column you have a pair of words. Your goal is to find a third word that is connected or associated with both of these two words. 1. LOCK — PIANO 2. SHIP — CARD 3. TREE — CAR 4. SCHOOL — EYE 5. PILLOW — COURT 6. RIVER — MONEY 7. BED... »
What's Your Number?
No, not that number.   You know the questions, how much money would you need in the bank to stop working?  Or, for the rest of us mortals, how much money will you need to retire? It is surprising how few people save or place any importance on savings.  True, it... »
A Love Letter for Valentine's Day
Some say that doing a Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxy, and Power of Attorney is like writing a love letter. Corny, I know, but actually true. Being organized as well as being prepared for a crisis helps ease the burden on your loved ones. Imagine being in... »
Tax and Gift Changes for 2014
In 2013 Congress made the federal estate tax laws so-called "permanent" with the American Taxpayer Relief Act ("ATRA"). ATRA made raised the exclusion amount to $5.34 million per person. It also introduced the concept of "portability", which allows a surviving spouse to add the unused portion of the decedent... »
Creating a Family Legacy
It is said that wealth cannot last for more than three generations. That is because it introduces a complicated family dynamic, and inherited wealth can diminish the motivation, ambition, and drive of later generations. What is important is not only the desire to pass wealth on to future generations but to... »
Three Must-Have Documents for 2014
Although we all expect the best in 2014, it is always good to prepare for the worst. Leaving loose ends when it comes to your estate can lead to family fights and expensive legal bills. Spare your family by being prepared. There are three documents that are absolute musts:  A will A... »
Tax Brackets and Standard Deductions for 2014
The IRS has announced the annual inflation adjustments for 2014, with the big news being the new tax brackets. Keep in mind these are for 2014 taxes--the ones you will be filing in 2015, not the ones you are currently working on. Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses Married Filing Separately Single Taxpayers Head... »
Woman Disinherits Nephews, Wills $100K to the Cat
An appeals court recently affirmed that Charlotte F. Stafford was not under undue influence when she disinherited her nephews and left $100,000 in a pet trust for the care of Kissie Meouw Stafford, her cat. Stafford appointed her friend and caretaker of six years, Vicky House, as the cat's guardian,... »
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