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March 2019 Archives

The gross estate and federal estate taxes

If the value of a person's gross estate in New York exceeds the federal estate tax exemption, it will be necessary to pay taxes on the estate. However, with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the exemption increased to more than $11 million per person and twice that for couples. This means that most people will not have to be concerned about estate tax.

Using a trust to freeze a frozen person's assets

There seems to be a trust for just about everything, including one that allows a person to freeze his or her assets when he or she is frozen. The process of freezing a person is known as cryonics, which involves the use of liquid nitrogen to cool a body down to -328 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, all cell activity is suspended. Proponents believe that advancements in science and medicine may someday allow preserved bodies to be revived.

The most difficult element of estate planning

For many New York adults, the hardest part of putting an estate plan together is navigating through the family dynamics. This should come as no surprise considering that estate planning often involves having difficult conversations with loved ones. After all, family members won't always agree on what's fair, and sometimes fair and equal aren't the same thing.

How trusts fit into an estate plan

There are many ways that New Yorkers can create a proper estate plan. One effective tool is the revocable trust. This type of document can live on until it has fulfilled the wishes of the deceased. If the deceased was also the trustee, it will be necessary to name a successor trustee to carry out its instructions after the grantor passes.