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Estate Law in New York

Estate planning can be a difficult task to accomplish. Not only do you have to wade through complex New York estate laws, but you also have to confront your own mortality at the same time. However, estate planning ensures that your successors will be able to take care of any details after your death to your specifications, and knowing the estate laws will help you with the process.

Typically, estate planning consists of setting up a will, naming powers of attorney for healthcare and finances, and appointing a guardian for your children, if they are minors. Although these may sound like difficult procedures, an experienced New York estate planning attorney can help you navigate through New York estate laws and make sure your affairs and interests are protected.

Recently in Estate Law Category

3 Need-to-Knows About the NY Estate Tax

Are you familiar with New York's estate and death tax system? New York is one of 14 states with an estate tax -- a tax on the cash, real estate, stocks, bonds and other property left by residents who have died. But the law might soon change.

The taxation of wealth transfer is a complicated area of law, but a basic introduction to estate taxes and death taxes can help you start thinking about this pressing financial planning issue.

Here are three things to know about estate taxes and death taxes in New York:

New York Testators: Incompetent or Just Eccentric?

New York is home to many, shall we say, vibrant personalities. From The Naked Cowboy to Amanda Bynes, it's often hard to tell the difference between incompetence and mere eccentricity in the Big Apple.

Fortunately, from a legal perspective, there are certain factors courts use to separate the weird from the legally worrisome.

Lottery Winners: 7 Estate Planning Legal Tips

Think you've got the Mega Millions, Powerball, or New York Lottery jackpot in the bag? Before picking out the color of your dream jet, consider dreaming more long-term. Lottery winners are notorious for losing it all, as Business Insider reminds us.

If you're one of the fortunate few to win the lottery, here are seven estate planning tips to lengthen the rainbow to your pot of gold:

5 Tips for Keeping Your Passwords, Keys, and PIN Numbers

Even the best-drafted estate plan is useless if there is no way to access your money and property. That's why it is critical to account for things like your keys, PIN numbers, and passwords when drafting an estate plan.

If you do not properly account for these things, your family may be completely precluded from accessing electronic records, as well as cash and jewelry you keep somewhere secure like in a safe.

Here are five tips for keeping track of your passwords, keys, and PIN numbers:

Financial Planner vs. Estate Planner: What's the Difference?

It's never too late for a basic crash course on estate planning. Often, people confuse estate planning with financial planning. They assume that a financial planner can help with all of their estate planning needs.

While there are numerous posts and articles online about Estate Planning 101 and the basics of planning an estate, we can never be too redundant on that topic.

So, let's get back to basics here and talk about estate planning. Not everyone knows what it means. For starters, there's a difference between "financial planning" and "estate planning."

Gay Marriage Activist Richard Adams Dies at 65

Gay marriage is in the news again, as a same-sex marriage pioneer has passed away in Los Angeles. Richard Adams died Dec. 17 at the age of 65, The New York Times reports.

Adams married Tony Sullivan, an Australian national, in 1975. The couple wed in Colorado during a brief period when such licenses were being granted to same-sex couples. After that, the couple fought incessantly to have their marriage recognized by the federal government, as the Immigration and Naturalization Service sought to deport Sullivan.

In response to an application for residency, an official rejection letter from the INS stated that the couple failed to establish "that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots," according to the Times.

Rolling Over Your Retirement Account: How It Works

Retirement accounts are critical to good estate planning and good financial planning.

You might already have a retirement account, but what happens if you're not happy with it? Did you know that it was possible to roll over your account?

You can change accounts and go with an entirely different brokerage. While you're not allowed to withdraw funds from an investment retirement account or from a 401(k) account without incurring a penalty, you are well within your rights to roll over an account.

How does this work?

J.R.R. Tolkien's Estate Sues Warner Bros for Online Gaming Apps

The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien is suing Warner Brothers over the creation of an online slot machine, reports Hollywood Reporter. The lawsuit is claiming over $80 million in damages, claiming the merchandising was unauthorized.

This comes just weeks before the studio releases The Hobbit, based on a Tolkien book.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in Los Angeles. It was brought by the Tolkien estate and HarperCollins. The lawsuit claims that Warner Brothers and Saul Zaentz, the rightsholder to the Lord of The Rings franchise, have infringed on the copyright and are in breach of contract.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger's Children Trying to Sell NY Times Stock

Details on the estate of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger are slowly emerging, according to the New York Daily News.

Sulzberger, one of the most prolific publishers The New York Times had ever seen, passed away in the Hamptons last month. He was 86 years old.

During his lifetime, he was best known as the chairman and CEO of The New York Times Co., where he reigned supreme for 34 years.

Four Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning isn't the easiest area of law to understand so it's understandable why as a potential client, you might be daunted by the idea of visiting an estate planning attorney's office.

What documents will you need to bring? What will the estate planning lawyer ask you? Will you even understand anything the attorney has to say?

Relax. Remember that you're the one who is hiring the attorney. As such, you need to make an informed decision on whether or not to retain him or her.

Here are the top 4 questions you need to ask your estate planning attorney: