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May 2018 Archives

When is a surviving spouse disqualified as an heir?

In New York, when a person dies, it does not necessarily mean that the surviving spouse is automatically able to receive the proceeds of his or her estate. This is particularly important if the person died intestate. Not having an estate plan could lead to litigation among the heirs. Of course, it is advisable for everyone to formulate a comprehensive estate plan so there is no confusion at the time of death, but if there is not one, it is important to know when a spouse can be disqualified under state law.

Valuable Basquiat painting at center of legal dispute

In New York, a dispute over an estate can come about for many different reasons. One of the most common is if there is an item that is of significant value and parties are in dispute over who should inherit it and whether it should be retained or sold. When a legal dispute arises over these items, it can often call into question whether there was a valid will and can cause disagreements as to what the testator wanted. To avoid this, people should have a comprehensive and well-crafted estate plan.

Legal dispute over man's fortune centers around handwritten will

For New Yorkers who are concerned about a will and its validity, a court battle might be necessary to settle the matter. This is especially true when there are significant assets at stake. With property and a valuable portfolio, it is vital that there be a valid will created so it is clear who the desired heirs are. When this is not done, it can be the foundation for a contentious dispute. When in this situation, it is key for all sides to have a law firm that is experienced in all areas of estate litigation.

Does your estate plan cover dementia?

If you have an advance medical directive on file, you are ahead of the curve. Most Americans have not taken this step to ensure their wishes are upheld if they become incapacitated. If you have not created an advance medical directive as part of your estate plan, you should consider completing this important step. Whether you have one or not, you should take the time to ensure that your wishes are recorded regarding what to do in the event that you someday suffer from dementia.

What is estate administration after intestacy in New York?

Not everyone in New York takes the necessary steps to have an estate plan. There can be many reasons for this, but, regardless of why it happened, it is important for the family left behind to know how the law handles intestacy. After the person has died, there will be an estate administration proceeding. Knowing the basics of this is imperative as the family deals with the decedent's estate.

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.

Updating an estate plan regularly can avoid common errors

Regardless of their net worth and assets, New Yorkers can always benefit from having a comprehensive and well-drafted estate plan. However, there are mistakes that can upend any estate plan, no matter how much forethought the testator puts into it. This is true no matter whether it is a large estate or one of more modest means. Failure to be an active participant when the estate plan is drafted often leaves the person unaware of what is in it. Finding an estate planner who will explain to the testator exactly how the document will benefit the beneficiaries is key.

  • 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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