On September 29, 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law a new statute amending the New York Estates Powers and Trusts Law in relation to the administration of digital assets.more »
In the age of the internet, there is a growing trend amongst the American populace who decide they need a Will to avoid the cost of a lawyer and use a legal services website like Legal Zoom® or use some free Will form found on the internet. However, there are many dynamics that go into estate planning beyond executing a “simple” Will. First, you may have family dynamics or complex assets such as a closely-held business that require something more than a “simple” Will.more »
Mackenzie Hughes attorneys strongly believe in keeping their clients informed on the latest developments in law and business.more »
This blog answers questions we frequently are asked by persons named as Executor in a decedent’s Last Will and Testament.
The decedent’s Will appoints me as executor. What’s next? Is my appointment automatic?
No. You will be appointed executor by the Surrogate Court after the Will has been accepted for probate. The Court will issue you “Letters Testamentary” which give you the authority to act on behalf of the estate. The Court may deny you Letters notwithstanding that you are nominated in the decedent’s Will for reasons such as being a non-US citizen or a felon.more »
Your mom has appointed you as her agent on her power of attorney. Now what?
All powers of attorney signed on or after September 12, 2010, must be signed by the agent (you), acknowledging your appointment in order for you to act. The power of attorney document informs the agent (you) of your legal responsibilities: to act according to the principal’s instructions, or where there are no instructions, in the principal’s best interest; avoid conflicts that would impair your ability to act in the principal’s best interest; and keep records of your transactions as agent.more »
Employees at the U.S. Treasury Department have spoken publically about pending regulation changes that would significantly restrict the ability to take valuation discounts in certain circumstances. Many practitioners are recommending that their clients act now and make gift of appreciating assets to the next generation to avoid the implication of these proposed restrictions.more »
There has been a tremendous sea change across the United States as it relates to same sex marriage, the majority of which has taken place almost entirely within the last decade. In the past three years alone, nearly two dozen states offered their residents some form of same sex union for the first time. On July 24, 2011, New York joined the ranks and passed the Marriage Equality Act, legalizing same sex marriage. It was the seventh state to do so.more »
A common complaint about the trust or will of a deceased ancestor is that the terms of the trust or will are not responsive to changed circumstances and events not contemplated at the time the instrument was signed. Trust beneficiaries may become disabled or improvident. Family members may develop conflicts. Tax laws may have radically changed. Unfortunately, upon the death of the ancestor, the trust and will become irrevocable. Notwithstanding, there are answers to certain of these post-death problems.more »
What’s on your list of New Year’s resolutions? No doubt a resolution to create or review your estate plan is not at the top of your list. But estate planning is as important as resolutions to lose weight, spend time with family or be more frugal.more »
There is one gift you can easily assemble in under ten minutes, at no cost, that will someday be greatly appreciated by your loved ones. A letter of instruction can provide great comfort and relief to your family when you are not available to provide guidance in person.more »