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June 2015 Archives

How joint bank accounts can hurt an estate plan

It is often convenient for married couples in New York to maintain joint bank accounts while both spouses are living. However, when one spouse dies, joint accounts can cause some estate planning problems. These issues may not affect every estate, but they are important to be aware of.

Credit shelter trust may help high-income couples avoid taxes

High-income couples face the potential of paying federal and, in New York, state estate taxes upon the death of one spouse. Each spouse may have an estate that is below the federal exemption, currently $5.43 million. However, assuming that the first deceased spouse leaves his or her estate to the other spouse, the second spouse may die with a larger, combined estate that exceeds the exemption, and the estate may be subject to tax.

Removing an executor in New York

It is up to an executor who has been appointed under a will to ensure that the testator's assets are properly distributed. If an executor does not do this in a timely manner or appropriately, beneficiaries may find themselves waiting for property that is rightfully theirs or seeing a loved one's estate mishandled. In these cases, a beneficiary may have a few options for having matters handled.