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Proposal to Reform New York State Estate Tax System

January 26, 2015

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177572431As reported on this blog last year, New York State modified its estate tax system by gradually increasing the estate tax exemption along with some other changes. The hope and intent were to keep New York State’s estate tax more competitive and in line with other states within the country to prevent a migration of New Yorkers from the state to avoid state estate tax. However, the language in the New York State stature which made these modifications created some significant problems for New Yorkers. The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, through its Estate Planning Committee, has proposed some additional reforms to the New York tax law (the “Proposal”) which attempt to eliminate some of the perceived unfairness in current New York law.

As it currently stands, for a New Yorker

Law Meets Science

November 24, 2014

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Law Meets Science

November 24, 2014

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451428613Advances in medical technology have made it possible for a child to be conceived after the death of one or both of his or her genetic parents with the use of stored sperm or ova. Recently, the New York State Legislature has sent a bill to Governor Coumo which clarifies when a child born after the death of his or her genetic parents, a so called posthumously conceived child, will be deemed a child of such parents for the purpose of inheritance and intestacy law. This issue may arise when a genetic parent who will ultimately have a posthumously conceived child dies without a Will or with a Will using the generic term child or issue. Does the posthumously conceived child take a share

Update: New York Budget Bill Makes Changes to Estate Tax Law

September 9, 2014

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statuteofliberty  Update: New York State’s Department of Taxation and Finance recently released a summary of the changes made to New York’s estate tax law earlier this year which were previously reported on this blog.  As reported before these changes were rather significant and are worth repeating.

Proponents of Estate Tax Still Estate Plan

ClintonSenateWhile constant attention is being given to Hillary Clinton’s potential decision to run for the presidency in 2016 and the release of her latest book, Hard Choices, last month, news sources recently reported that she and former President Bill Clinton have taken advantage of several of the estate planning techniques recommended by trusts and estates attorneys for high net worth individuals.

This is interesting, in part, because the Clintons support the estate tax and have not been in support of its repeal.

According to reported sources, each of the Clintons created a qualified personal residence trust and each contributed his or her 50% ownership interest in their Chappaqua, New York house to his or her respective trust. A qualified personal residence trust, commonly called by its acronym QPRT, is an IRS sanctioned

Wedding Bells are Ringing: Should you get a Prenuptial Agreement?

June 2, 2014

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123820206It’s June.  Wedding season is upon us.  It is a good time to think about prenuptial agreements. If you are engaged to be married, should you have a prenuptial agreement? At the minimum, you should at least consider the implications of marriage with or without such an agreement.

New York Budget Bill Makes Changes to Trust Income Tax

April 16, 2014

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The New York Budget bill made changes not only in the estate tax arena, as previously reported on this blog, but also to the income taxation of certain trusts.

Under law prior to the passage of the Budget bill, a resident trust created by a New Yorker was entirely exempt from New York income tax if there was (i) no New York resident trustee, (ii) no assets located in New York and (iii) no New York source income. The new law, effective for calendar years beginning January 1, 2014, provides that a New York resident beneficiary receiving a distribution of income from a New York State resident trust which is exempt from New York State income tax, will be taxed on that “accumulated distribution”. The new accumulation distribution tax, will not apply if the accumulated income was earned before 2014 or if the trust itself is subject to New

New York Budget Bill Makes Changes to Estate Tax

April 8, 2014

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statuteoflibertyAs previously reported on this blog, Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature, both Assembly and Senate, were busy at work on the budget which contained modifications for the trusts and estates arena. A bill has finally been passed, which looks different from some of the earlier proposals. The new bill impacts the estate and trust world as follows:

Basic Estate Tax Exclusion Amount increases are to be phased in as follows for New York residents or non-residents owning real property located in New York State during the period listed:

 

 

 

  • April 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015 – $2,062,500;
  • April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016 – $3,125,000;
  • April 1. 2016 – March 31, 2017 – $4,187,500;
  • April 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018 –

Madness in March?

March 14, 2014

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Madness in March?

March 14, 2014

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The term March Madness may take on new significance to New Yorkers this year. In addition to contributing to NCAA pools, New Yorkers should consider making gifts this month. Following up on prior blog post, New Yorkers may have a very small window of opportunity to take advantage of gifting significant sums of money prior to April 1, 2014. Currently New York State has no gift tax. New Yorkers can make gifts of any size to anyone without incurring any New York gift tax consequences at all. However, the gift and estate tax rules may change shortly. Governor Cuomo has proposed a change to New York’s estate and gift tax law that will require all taxable gifts made by a New York resident after March 31, 2014 to be included as part of the gross estate for purposes of calculating the New York estate tax. However, the proposal would

Proposals to Change New York State Transfer Tax System

January 13, 2014

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There is has been much talk recently about changing the New York State estate and gift tax structure. Currently, New York State estate tax is based on Federal law from 1998.  New York State imposes a state estate tax on estates valued at $1M. Just this week Governor Cuomo proposed increasing the estate tax threshold from the current $1M to $5.25M and lowering the top estate tax rate to 10% over the next four years. His hope would be that beginning in 2019, the New York State estate tax exemption would equal the Federal exemption, which is indexed to inflation.  This plan would ultimately exempt nearly 90% of estates from New York state estate tax and would eliminate any incentive for New Yorkers to move out of state and migrate to states with no estate tax imposed on its residents.

James Gandolfini’s Death Will Bring in Money to IRS and NYS

Gandolfini

The terms of James Gandolfini’s December 2012 Last Will and Testament were made public last week when it was filed in New York County Surrogate’s Court. There are a series of specific bequests to his teenage son by his first marriage and some friends and relatives, but the bulk of his probate assets is disposed of as his “residuary estate” and is divided among his sisters, his wife and his baby daughter.

The tax clause of his Will directs that all estate taxes are to be paid from his residuary estate. What does that mean to his beneficiaries? And what does that mean to the IRS and to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance? Only the 20% of the estate that passes to James Gandolfini’s widow will qualify for the Federal

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