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January 2015 Archives

Social media as part of an estate plan

New York residents are part of the growing trend of storing photos and other personal digital assets on social media sites and in other online venues. However, another significant issue is becoming more common in connection with digital assets. Family members are often left wondering how to deal with the accounts of a loved one after that individual expires.

Keep real estate out of probate

Developing an estate plan with the required documents may be an important legacy that a New York resident can leave to his or her heirs. Often, the largest asset in someone's estate is real estate. If real estate is the only asset to be passed on, several actions should keep the owner's estate out of probate.

Essential tips for maintaining an estate plan

Many New York residents have already taken the essential step of creating an estate plan. It is an important process for protecting assets and distributing them to heirs. However, estate plans can be in place for years if not decades. To keep them relevant, plans may benefit from review at regular intervals.

Benefiting from the estate tax rules in 2015

The U.S. government collected around $12.7 billion from estate tax filings in 2013, but New York residents may be able to minimize the amount they pay because the rules concerning estate tax change every year. First, the federal estate tax exclusion amount rises to $5.43 million in 2015, so only those whose estates exceed this amount are subject to this federal tax.

Reasons to modify a will and estate plan

Many New York residents who have written will or created other estate planning vehicles will likely have to revisit these documents after the occurrence of certain life milestones. As family members are added or subtracted and the contents of a person's financial portfolio grow, these changes must be accounted for in an updated estate plan.