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March 2018 Archives

Understanding guardianships, its powers and how to challenge them

In New York, guardianships can be critical to ensure that an elderly or incapacitated person is cared for. Some people have a durable power of attorney drafted so another person will be named as a guardian if the person is unable to care for themselves. Without a durable power of attorney, the court will appoint a guardian to represent that person. A disagreement sometimes arises as to whom the guardian should be and what can be done to change it. Understanding the powers a guardian has and how the guardian is chosen is a foundational aspect to issuing a challenge of the guardianship.

Debt And Late In Life Asset Transfers

If given a choice, most people would prefer to see their assets go to their children and other loved ones rather than creditors. In an effort to dodge creditors, or even just the inconvenience of probate, some older people try to transfer property to children during their lifetimes. This well-intentioned act can have disastrous consequences for the surviving family members.

Important strategies to ensure your estate plan remains viable

New Yorkers who have created an estate plan should not sit back while time passes without making changes to that plan. While this might seem to be an arduous chore, it is a key part of having estate planning documents that address all issues. Fortunately, estate planning documents can be changed as the need arises. Recognizing the gaps is the first step toward filling them.

An estate plan can address caring for pets

In New York, it seems more common for people to have pets than to not have pets. A concern for caring pet owners is what will happen to their pet after the owner dies. Many might not be aware that it is possible to take estate planning steps to address these issues. However, more and more people are including their pets in their estate plans. It can be any kind of a pet and not just a dog or a cat. Birds, snakes, lizards, fish - any pet can be stipulated for care in an estate plan. The important part is knowing how to go about it.

Probate can be avoided with a smart estate plan

New Yorkers will take many steps to prepare for the future by crafting estate planning documents. However, there are always factors they might miss that can be costly to their heirs. Knowing how to prevent common mistakes requires taking the preemptive steps to avoid them. One such issue is probate. Knowing how and if to avoid probate can be useful to the person and the heirs.

Dealing with out-of-state property upon your husband's death

As years go by in a marriage, it is not unusual to find married couples holding title to recreational property in another state. Perhaps it was a cabin in Vermont the family enjoyed while the kids were young. Or it might have been a condo for wintering in Tampa. But as the years went by, holding onto the property no longer seemed so important. When one spouse died, the property automatically transferred to the surviving spouse, but selling it always seemed like such a bother. Or in the case of a time share, selling it proved impossible. But holding onto it when there is no one in the family who wants it can result in a headache in probate court someday.

Mistakes with a power of attorney can be damaging and costly

Conscientious New Yorkers who understand the importance of estate planning should know various mistakes that have been made in the past that can have a negative impact on even the most comprehensive estate plan. One document that is beneficial is a power of attorney. However, there are certain issues that should be understood before functioning under the belief that the document is airtight. Taking steps to mitigate potential problems can ensure that it covers everything.

Planning for divorce, before you get married?

Most people could benefit from financial planning long before it occurs to them to look into it. Estate planning is another area where people often wait too long to get started, to their detriment. Divorce, however, is something people generally don't plan for at all. Almost no one gets married with the intention of getting a divorce in the future. Whatever statistics say, people expect that their marriage will withstand the test of time. But like so many other things, it is best to think about the possibilities and take proper precautions before it is too late.

Estate planning in blended families

Blended families face a number of challenges in building and maintaining harmony. Step-parent, step-child relationships are fraught with the potential for conflict. When one of the parents involved passes away, the result is often a contentious, even bitter battle over inheritance. Recent statistics showing that parents with stepchildren are more likely to treat children unequally in their wills are unlikely to improve the situation.

  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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