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March 2016 Archives

Advantages of an independent fiduciary

New York residents who are preparing their wills should choose an executor carefully. While a person might be tempted to avoid naming an executor, this could leave loved ones with a great deal of conflict. For example, in one case, a woman who did not get along with her sister was told by her mother that she was not naming an executor and that she and her sister could work out the details.

Estate planning and the designation of an executor

When a person dies, someone must be appointed by a court to assume fiduciary responsibility for the assets, money and property of the decedent unless a valid will naming an executor exists. New York residents who have been named as an executor have a variety of duties to perform once the probate court has approved their appointment.

New tax laws might impact New York estates

Those who plan on willing property to their loved ones or executing existing estates may be interested to know that in March 2016, the IRS issued proposed regulations that are designed to match the value of properties received by beneficiaries and other recipients with the value of such properties as computed for estate taxes. The laws may also change the way due dates, beneficiary discovery, joint tenant arrangements and other factors impact property transfers.

Appointing an attorney-in-fact

New York residents may want to consider who they will appoint under a power of attorney as part of their estate plan. This is the person who among other duties will deal with their finances if they are unable to do so as a result of becoming incapacitated. In some families, choosing such a person may lead to conflict. One woman was concerned after her 66-year-old father had a stroke and appointed his girlfriend as attorney-in-fact. The girlfriend told the daughter that she was also being left everything in his will.