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August 2015 Archives

The importance of a legal signature on a will

Because every state has its own requirements related to the validity of a will, newcomers to New York should pay careful attention to these details. Neglecting to properly execute a will could result in probate complications as well as challenges from heirs. A recent case in Tennessee, for example, resulted in the wishes of the testator being successfully challenged by his son. Although the man obtained witnesses and had them complete and sign a self-proving affidavit, the witnesses failed to sign the actual will.

Trusts useful for some estates but not all

Trusts are important components of many New York residents' estate plans, especially for those people who own many high-value assets. These estate planning tools can help beneficiaries to avoid taxes and probate fees while performing other functions like protecting financially irresponsible heirs from receiving a sudden windfall. Although trusts can be very useful in a variety of circumstances, they are not always necessary for every estate.

Probate fees raised to cover probate court budget

Retired New York residents who are considering a move to Connecticut may want to think twice. On July 1, probate fees in Connecticut were doubled for estates worth at least $2 million. With probate fees at .05 percent of an estate, Connecticut is now the most expensive state to inherit money in.

Bobbi Kristina's death sparks estate planning discussion

New York residents have probably heard about the early death of Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown. Now, estate planning experts are speculating about whether Whitney Houston could have done something to protect Bobbi Kristina by structuring her will in a different way. Bobbi Kristina was 18 years old when her mother died at the age of 48, and she was the main benefactor of her mother's $20 million fortune.