Suffolk County NY Estate Planning Elder Attorneys: Burner Law Group, P.C.
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Estate Planning

Disqualification of Nominated Executor

Disqualification of Nominated Executor

Q: My father recently passed away. I have one brother and one sister. The will divides the assets equally among the three of us. My father’s will has nominated my sister as Executor. She declared bankruptcy several years ago and I do not think that she should serve as Executor. Do you have any advice? A: The person selected to act as the Executor can be anyone that the testator wants to conduct the administration of the estate. There is no requirement that the Executor have any experience...more »

Estate Planning and 529 Plans

Estate Planning and 529 Plans

Question: I have three grandchildren and want to start saving for their college education. Is opening a 529 Plan advisable? What are the implications with respect to my grandchild’s financial aid eligibility and my own estate plan? Answer: When it comes to college financial aid and estate planning considerations, there is never a single right answer. Obviously contributing to your grandchild’s educational future is important and you do not want to put them or yourself in a worse...more »

Further Estate Planning after the Death of a Spouse

Further Estate Planning after the Death of a Spouse

Losing a spouse is an extremely difficult time in life and handling the administration of their estate can be a stressful experience. When you are ready, it is important to seek the advice of an estate planning and elder law attorney to discuss what needs to be done on behalf of your spouse’s estate and also what planning you need to do for your own estate. Your attorney will want to review all assets held by your spouse, whether individually or jointly with you, and all assets in your...more »

Turnover Proceeding

Turnover Proceeding

Question: I am the Executor of my mom’s estate and there is only $10,000 left in her bank account. A year before she died, my mom had much more money. I think someone may have taken her money before she died. What should I do? Answer: If you suspect that somebody has wrongfully taken money or property from your mom before she died, you can commence proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court asking the Court to allow you to investigate who took the money. After the investigation, if you...more »

I Have an Irrevocable Trust, Now What?

I Have an Irrevocable Trust, Now What?

Q: I want to start looking into creating a trust to protect my assets for Medicaid but the idea is over-whelming, can you explain the process? A: There are several types of trusts. One type is an irrevocable trust for Medicaid asset protection purposes. This trust will protect certain assets in case they need to apply for government benefits to assist them with their daily activities.  The drafting process of the trust document is vital because it outlines the rules of the trust. Without...more »

Compelling a Fiduciary to Account an Estate

Compelling a Fiduciary to Account an Estate

Q: My brother is the Executor of my mother’s estate. It has been three years since she died, and he has not distributed anything. What do you recommend I do? A: I recommend that you demand that your brother to provide an accounting. This demand should be in writing. This accounting should show what he collected, what was paid out, how much is on hand and how he calculated your share. In the alternative, your brother could provide you with copies of all estate account statements and copies...more »

I Have an Irrevocable Trust, Now What?

I Have an Irrevocable Trust, Now What?

Commonly, clients will create a trust to protect certain assets in case they need to apply for government benefits as they get older and require assistance with their daily activities. While certain provisions of this type of trust will be consistent from client to client, not all trusts are the same. Understanding your trust is the first step to successfully achieving your estate planning goals.  The drafting process of the trust document is vital because it outlines the rules of the...more »

Gifting to Minors

Gifting to Minors

Question: I want to designate my grandchildren as the beneficiaries of my retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Currently, they are ages 4 and 6. Is this possible? Can I simply complete a new designated beneficiary form with my financial institutions? Answer: You can absolutely designate minor children to receive money under retirement accounts and life insurance policies. However, you NEVER want to designate that the child receive those monies outright. In other words, you would not...more »

Estate Planning for Teachers

Estate Planning for Teachers

Q: I am a teacher and currently off for summer break.  Now that I have time to myself, what should I be thinking about over the summer regarding my estate plan? What about retirement? What actions should I be taking? A: Summer is the best time to check items off your “to-do” list that get pushed off during the busy school year.  You just spent the last ten months teaching and giving everything you have to your students.  It is now time to do something for yourself,...more »

College Age Children and Estate Planning Documents

College Age Children and Estate Planning Documents

Question: My son is 18 and is leaving for his first year of college in September. Someone told me that there were some legal documents I should have in place before he leaves. This is the first that I have heard of this, as his school did not say anything. Is my friend correct? Answer: Yes, your friend is correct. With so many other things to worry about during this stage, it may be overwhelming to begin to consider the legal implications of your child reaching "adulthood." Yes, that's right,...more »

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