June 2012 News: New York Estate Planning News

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June 2012 Archives

Last week we brought you some info on the latest in the estate battle between painter Thomas Kinkade's mistress and his wife.

Yesterday, attorneys for Kinkade's estranged wife filed documents in California, saying that the validity over two barely legible handwritten wills allegedly belonging to Kinkade should be determined in private arbitration, reports theMercury News.

Here comes some sad news for fans of romantic comedies.

Screenwriter and movie director Nora Ephron passed away in New York City on Tuesday, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Ephron was 71-years-old and died from complications arising from leukemia.

She leaves behind a husband two sons from a previous marriage, Jacob and Max Bernstein.

Have you ever wondered what exactly is an “estate”?

A Forbes Magazine article put this question into perspective, by showing the misconceptions surrounding the word “estate” and the need for estate planning.

The common question that many might have is why they would need estate planning if they don’t have an actual estate.

While the term “estate” conjures up images of  red brick mansions and wrought-iron gates, an estate for legal planning purposes actually refers to everything you own when you pass away.

It’s as simple as that. Or almost.

Up until last week, Karen "the Bus Monitor" Klein had no idea she'd be retiring a wealthy woman.

Now, due to a horrific bullying incident caught on tape and a massive crowdfunding campaign to send her on a well-deserved vacation, Karen Klein might end up with over half a million dollars.

But what should she do with that money? We have some ideas.

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of artist Thomas Kinkade’s estate from California.

This week, a local painter has passed away. LeRoy Neiman died on Wednesday in Manhattan, reports CNN. He was 91.

If you don’t know LeRoy Neiman by name, you definitely know his paintings. Neiman is best known for his sports artistry, capturing athletes and athletic events in his paintings. He was the official painter for five Olympiads and a regular contributing artist for Playboy magazine.

The validity of artist Thomas Kinkade’s will is at the center of the battle over his estate.

While Kinkade was a resident Californian, his estate battle shows the importance of drafting a valid will and the repercussions for failing to do so.

The famed artist had a multi-million dollar estate and now, the courts may be charged with deciphering his wills, which have been called “barely legible” by the San Jose Mercury News.

Is it important to leave money behind to your kids or is it more important to teach your kids to take care of themselves?

Many high net worth Americans are leaving less inheritance to their kids, according to a report on CNN Money.

Thirty-two percent of high net worth Americans are minimizing their children's inheritance. And when we move to the baby boomers, that number goes up to forty-five percent.

What are they doing with that money?

So, you think the lady your father met at the retirement home is a gold-digger. Now, you want to do something about it, before he marries her and gives her a chunk of your inheritance.

This was the problem that two daughters faced in New Jersey, when their dad cut a $10,000 check to a caretaker at his retirement home, reports MSN Money.

The retirement home fired the caretaker. But that didn't stop daddy from marrying the little lady. When she cleaned out his finances, the daughters could only say "I told you so."

People with special needs children have a lot to worry about, especially when it comes to the future of the children. They want to ensure that their children have the necessary funds needed in the event that the parents are no longer there. On the other hand, too much money left to a disabled child could become problematic, particularly if the child is receiving funds from the government.

Merrill Lynch is now stepping in to give some financial planning tools to parents of special needs children, writes Forbes. Met Life is also providing guidance to special needs families.

A major fashion icon passed away on May 14 in his California home.

For those New York fashionistas and shoe lovers, you’ve likely heard of the line Circa Joan & David. David M. Helpern, the co-founder of that fashion line, passed away of Alzheimer’s-related complications, reports the New York Times. While his final residence was in California, his death and the circumstances surrounding it demonstrate the necessity of incapacity planning.

These days, there are many options to do your estate plan by yourself. As a result, many people feel that they don’t need to hire an estate planning attorney to plan their estate.

After all, why hire an estate planner when you can simply go online, print off a sample will and tailor it to your own needs? It’s that simple, right?

While it’s true that you can probably draft a simple will all by yourself, there are many reasons to seek the help of an estate planning lawyer. Here are five good reasons:

Estate planners know that the past few years have been crazy with the ups and downs in estate and gift tax exclusion amounts. So how does this craziness affect those who want their estate planned?

For starters, it affects the extremely wealthy. But soon, there's a strong chance that the estate and gift tax laws will reach a greater number of people.

After discussing several estate-planning news stories and some complicated estate planning concepts, it's due time for a back-to-the-basics estate planning piece on this blog.

We've had several posts in the past discussing the basics of estate planning but it's an important topic to revisit. For instance, many people walk into the offices of a New York estate planning lawyer without much knowledge of what can be done with a revocable living trust. Here's a primer on revocable living trusts and why some are fifteen pages while others are fifty pages.

Everett Ortner passed away on Tuesday May 22, at the age of ninety two.

For many who live in Brooklyn, his name is synonymous with the gentrification of several burbs in and around the Park Slope area. Ortner and his wife, Evelyn, were fixtures in the social life of Brooklyn and were instrumental in revitalizing the community. In particular, they were well known for their efforts in preserving the brownstone homes of Brooklyn, reports the Park Slope Patch.

Ortner passed away without leaving any ascertainable descendants. What is known about his estate is that he owned a brownstone house which had substantially appreciated in value over the years.