October 2011 News: New York Estate Planning News

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October 2011 Archives

Himan Brown Inheritance; Final Insult to His Kids

When legendary Manhattan radio producer Himan Brown died last year, his children were to inherit a collection of paintings and sculptures worth millions. Instead, the Himan Brown inheritance ended up being a collection of fakes and forgeries.

Brown was 99-years-old when he died last year. Prior to his death, he had amassed a $40 million estate including his collection of artwork that included works by Degas, Manet, Renoir, and others, reports the New York Post.

Top 5 Estate Planning Mistakes

Just about everyone should have an estate plan. If you have accumulated any possessions, you will want to have a plan in place for how to distribute these assets.

However, estate planning can be complicated -- even you don't have a substantial amount of assets -- and below are what we think are the top five estate planning mistakes to avoid:

Bequeathing Foreign Property In New York

Bequeathing foreign property in New York can be tricky. The rules basically differ depending upon the type of property being given away -- whether the property is real or personal property.

For real property, the rules for giving away property are determined by the rules of the jurisdiction where the land is located. So if you want to give away a home in New Jersey, you need to follow that state's rules for wills such as the rules regarding witnesses, signatures, and language in the will.

What It Means to Be a Trust Fund Baby

Trust fund baby is not a legal term. Instead, when someone is called a trust fund baby, that generally just refers to the fact that the person receives money and support without having to work.

Trust fund babies usually drum up negative connotations as they may be perceived to be lazy or spoiled. While this may be the case in some situations, the truth is that trust funds can be set up in an unlimited number of ways, including ways that encourage hard work and success.

How to Revoke a Will in New York

We’ve written before that you should start estate planning early and that you may encounter many reasons for wanting to change your will. So as the years pass, changes in life circumstances may lead you to want to tear up the will you wrote in your 30s and to write a completely new will or to alter the existing will.

For anyone who has written a will, it is almost as important to know how to revoke a will or to change a will. In New York, you can only revoke or change a will by taking specific steps. Failure to properly take these steps can mean that the original will you wrote (say that one from your 30s) will be the will that is put into effect when you pass on.

Saving Passwords in Your Will: New Gifts for Posterity?

Times have truly changed as we can now pass along digital things we collect in clouds and pass them on to our loved ones. But without passwords to access the digital content we accumulate, our treasured intangible possessions may be lost forever.

Saving passwords in your will is now almost as important as saving bank account numbers and retirement account information, reports The Next Web.

Frances Bean Cobain Inheritance, Buys Home

A little over a year after Frances Bean Cobain inheritance made the news, the 19-year-old daughter of Kurt Cobain made news again as she recently bought a home in West Hollywood.

Last year, on her 18th birthday, Frances Bean Cobain inherited 37 percent of her father’s estate, reports Forbes. Now, the young woman has shown some savvy buying a $1,825,000 home in the Hollywood hills and even knocking $65,000 off the asking price.

Steve Jobs' Estate to Remain a Mystery?

Even while living, the Steve Job’s estate was much speculated upon. Now that the Apple co-founder has passed away, the speculation over who gets what and how much will only be amplified. Unfortunately, the answers will probably never be known.

Steve Jobs amassed billions in running Apple and buying Pixar before it became the Pixar we know today. While Jobs earned only $1 a year as the head of Apple, it’s estimated that his net worth is $6.7 billion, reports ABC. However, it’s not only Jobs’ staggering wealth that makes the distribution of his estate fascinating, it’s also his unique family circumstances.

Presumption of Death in New York - What Does it Mean?

In the movie Castaway, Tom Hanks disappears in a plane crash and is abandoned on a tropical island for years. In that time, his significant other moved on and life went on without him, as it was assumed that he was dead. But like with everything else, there are specific rules that cover when someone is deemed dead -- especially in tragic circumstances like a plane crash or where someone just plain disappears.

In New York, if a person disappears in an unexplained absence, that person will be presumed dead if no one can find him for three years. This is important because the administration of that person's estate cannot begin until the missing person is declared dead.

Wills and Beneficiaries: Your Survivors

It's depressing to think about, but wills and beneficiaries are all about planning for a future when you are no longer here. You name your beneficiaries in your will, and bequeath them your assets so that your heirs can enjoy and use them after you die. But what happens when your heirs die with you or soon after you?

Generally, your assets pass onto your heirs when you die, and then when your heirs die, those assets would be distributed as your heir desires. But since an inheritance depends upon the heir surviving your death and if your heir dies at the same time, or soon after, you die, different rules apply.