Estate Tax

Judith D. Grimaldi named Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation

Judith D. Grimaldi named Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation

The Law firm of Grimaldi & Yeung LLP announces that Judith D. Grimaldi, Partner, has been named a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation

Fellows are nominated by peers and recognized for distinguished achievement, dedication to the legal profession, and commitment to the organized bar and service to the public. “Being a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation is an honor,” states Chair of the Fellows, Emily F. Franchina. “Fellows represent one percent of the New York State Bar Association membership. Being nominated and elected is a notable achievement.”

Grimaldi & Yeung is very proud of Ms. Grimaldi’s outstanding honors and achievements.

Ms. Grimaldi is also actively involved in the legal profession through:

  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, as a Board member
  • New York State Bar Association – Vice Chair of Elder Law & Special Needs Section
  • New York City Bar Association – Past Chair of Legal Problems of the Aging Committee
  • Academy of Special Needs Planners – Charter member

As Foundation Ambassadors, Fellows exemplify the spirit of caring by demonstrating their belief that the practice of law is a helping profession. For more information regarding the Fellows or The New York Bar Foundation visit www.tnybf.org or visit our firm’s website at: www.gylawny.com.

At risk for estate tax? Work with experienced attorney to minimize liability

At risk for estate tax? Work with experienced attorney to minimize liability

Estate planning can have different goals for different people in different circumstances. One goal that should always be factored into estate planning, though, is estate tax minimization. For many Americans, federal estate taxation isn’t presently much of a concern, since the estate tax exemption amount is currently at $5.45 million. That means that Americans dying with less than $5.45 million in assets will not end up owing any estate tax.

Depending on where you live and how much money you have to your name, estate taxation at the state level a may or may not be a concern, either. Here in New York, the exclusion amount for estate tax is fairly large, as at the federal level, though it varies depending on when one dies.

Individuals who die between April of this year and the end of next March will not owe New York estate tax as long as the value of their federal gross estate plus includable gifts does not exceed $4,187,500. That amount changes to $5.25 million for those who die between April 1, 2017 and the end of December 2018.

The degree to which one should be concerned about estate tax liability depends on various factors. Estate tax is certainly a concern for individuals whose estate is currently worth over the state and federal exclusion/exemption amounts. It is also a concern for couples in which the estate value for a surviving spouse would exceed the exclusion/exemption amount after the surviving spouse takes ownership of the deceased spouse’s estate.

Couples and individuals who are at risk for estate tax liability should, of course, work with an experienced estate planning attorney to come up with an appropriate plan to minimize what they owe in estate tax, and to integrate estate tax minimization into their other estate planning goals.

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone:  917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

When a loved one dies, who bears the responsibility for his or her debts?

Based on figures obtained from several reputable banking and financial sources, the average credit card holder has nearly $8,000 in revolving debt, while those individuals who have student loans carry an average balance on those loans of roughly $25,700. When it comes to outstanding motor vehicle loan and home mortgage debt, the totals average roughly $10,400 and $100,200 respectively. This means that an individual who has debts associated with credit card(s), student loan(s), motor vehicle(s) and a mortgage is likely to owe around $144,300.

Depending on one’s age and financial means, these figures may be adjusted up or down. For many people, debt and paying off debt is a consistent and revolving concern throughout one’s lifetime. For example, while older adults are more likely to have fewer debts related to mortgages, motor vehicles and student loans; they are more likely to acquire debts related to long-term care and medical needs.

Given the significant amounts of debt that most U.S. adults carry, it’s important to examine what happens to these debts when an individual dies. Answers to questions about outstanding debts are likely of special interest and concern to surviving heirs who may worry that an estate’s assets and their inheritance will be swallowed up by creditors.
When a spouse or parent passes away; family members are left to deal with their grief and sort out a loved one’s estate. In cases where a loved one had outstanding debts, creditors may seek out a surviving spouse or relative. It’s important to note, however, that, in many cases, a spouse or relative is not obligated to pay these debts.

In fact, a spouse or relative is only obligated to pay debts to which they are personally linked. For example a spouse or relative that is named on a home mortgage or who co-signed a loan would be personally responsible for those debts. In order to recover other outstanding debts, creditors must follow the proper legal procedures, which do not include or sanction harassing surviving spouses or heirs, and go through the estate.

Source: FindLaw.com, “Debts After Death,” Nov. 4, 2015

The Motley Fool, “The Average American Has This Much Debt — How Do You Compare?,” Jan. 18, 2015

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone:  917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

Don’t let an inheritance windfall be your downfall

According to Investment News, during the next three decades, baby boomers will pass along an estimated $30 trillion in wealth to their heirs. For most people, suddenly learning that you are $500,000 or $1 million richer is welcome news. However, for an individual who is in his or her 40s, 50s or 60s; it’s important to plan wisely to ensure that a windfall isn’t wasted.

The inheritance of a considerable amount of wealth can be overwhelming. This is often especially true for individuals who previously struggled financially. While it can be tempting to spend all or a portion of one’s inheritance on a long pined-for home or car, to ensure for one’s own future financial security, it’s wise to consult with an estate planning professional who can provide financial and investment advice, guidance and assistance.

Upon receiving an inheritance, it’s wise to put the money into an account or accounts where it cannot be easily spent. Putting money in a money market account or short-term CD ensures that one’s inherited assets are safe and secure. It’s then wise to take a look at any outstanding debts and determine what to pay off. For example, paying off high interest credit cards may make more sense than paying down or off a car or home loan.

Once debts have been settled, an individual is advised to stow away a considerable amount of inherited assets into savings, retirement and investment accounts. Depending on one’s stage in life, possible options include a 529 college savings plan, Roth IRA, CD, treasury securities and the stock market.

In some cases, when relatives and friends get wind of an inheritance; requests for loans, gifts and donations come pouring in. When faced with these types of financial requests, it’s important to remain steadfast and stick to one’s long-term financial plan. That’s not to say that an individual shouldn’t gift money to a struggling child or donate to a charity. It’s wise, however, to consult with an estate planning professional and have a comprehensive plan in place.

Source: Consumer Reports, “How to handle an inheritance: Follow these 9 steps to avoid making some common mistakes,” Feb. 2011

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone:  917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

The many benefits of incorporating charitable donations into an estate plan

We often hear about philanthropy endeavors and sizable charitable donations of billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg. While there’s no diminishing the value such donations provide for respective charities, there are many other advantages afforded to individuals who choose to make charitable contributions.

In fact, with careful planning, an individual can not only financially support those causes that are near and dear to his or her heart, but he or she can also avoid estate taxes and provide for one’s own financial future needs as well as those of one’s heirs.

While individuals of all income brackets can benefit financially from the tax breaks associated with charitable donations, such benefits increase exponentially for those in higher income brackets.

When it comes to charitable donations, estate planning vehicles including wills, beneficiary designations and trusts can be used to assist an individual in meeting his or her goals with regard to philanthropy and avoiding estate taxes. A will is the most basic and simple way to leave assets to a charity. Not only does the selected charity receive the full amount bequeathed, but the donor is also able to take the applicable tax deduction.

IRA beneficiary designations are another way to give to a charity and get a tax break. By naming a selected charity the beneficiary of one’s IRA, the charity will again receive the full amount of a donation and that amount is deducted from the total value of one’s estate which can reduce the estate tax liabilities of surviving family members.

In our next post, we’ll continue to discuss how charitable donations can be used to reduce tax liabilities and provide income streams for future generations.

Source: CNBC, “Donations: The gift that keeps on giving for donors,” Shelly Schwartz, July 16, 2015

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone: 917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

Many high-net individuals do not have estate administration plans

Estate plans are for people of all income levels. However, it is particularly important for high-net-worth people to make plans for estate administration in New York. Unfortunately, it turns out that many with a large amount of assets may not have adequate estate plans in place.

A recent survey has shown that over one-third of families with a high net worth have not taken the most basic precautions to protect their estate and ensure intended beneficiaries are taken care of and provided for. Thirty-eight percent of those with more than $1 million of investable assets do not have an expertly designed estate plan, according to the recent survey. The survey polled 750 millionaires about their plans for estate administration.

The survey also found that those millionaires with significantly more money are more likely to be proactive in their estate planning. It turns out that those with $5 million or more were more likely to have an expertly designed estate plan. This accounted for 68 percent of those millionaires in this category, compared to only 61 percent of those with assets ranging between $1 million and $5 million who have adequately prepared estate plans.

Lack of proper planning for estate administration can result in intended beneficiaries not being able to receive assets from one’s estate in New York. Therefore, no matter what income bracket or how large one’s estate, it is essential to have the proper legal and financial instruments in place in order to protect one’s family in the case of something unexpected happening. However, each person’s estate plan should be customized to fit his or her specific circumstances and goals.

Source: cnbc.com, “Wealthy suffer from ‘estate-planning fatigue’“, Shelly Schwartz, June 29, 2015

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone: 917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.