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Trustees Archives

Options in appointing an executor

While many New York residents choose to appoint relatives or close friends to manage their estates after they die, there may be situations in which an individual or couple has no trusted party to appoint. Examples might include couples without children, unmarried individuals without close family, or families experiencing serious conflict over parents' assets and end-of-life plans. Deciding how to have one's estate administered could make the difference in ensuring a smooth transfer of assets rather than creating fuel for a huge court battle.

Deciding to be an executor

Many people in New York feel flattered when someone asked them to be the executor of the will. Being trusted enough to handle a friend or family member's posthumous affairs is indeed an honor. However, it's important for prospective executors to fully understand the possible ramifications of the position.

Sibling contentions over parental estate plans

A New York resident might seek information about a parent's estate plan through legal avenues, but this could be extremely unproductive. A parent cannot be sued for simply creating an estate plan. In addition to increasing family tensions by suing a parent or their representative, this could provide information to others in the family about intentions with regard to legal battles after that parent expires. A parent is not legally bound to leave their estate to children or grandchildren. The only legal obligation is to a spouse.

Tips for beneficiaries of a house

New York residents who have inherited a house that is far away from where they are currently living may be wondering what to do with the property. Whether the beneficiary decides to sell, rent or live in the house, there are several things to consider beforehand in order to avoid making mistakes and benefit from the inheritance.

Executors and getting help from appraisers

When New Yorkers are appointed as executors for their parents' estates, they may need to get the help of property appraisers. These professionals will determine the worth of different assets, some of which people may initially believe are not worth much but which turn out to have value.

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.

Remedies for executor malfeasance

People in New York who are beneficiaries under a will may be put in a difficult position if the executor does not perform the required duties duties promptly or effectively. Beneficiaries have the right to make executors take care of their obligations. An estate can be damaged and lose value due to an executor's actions.