Creditors’ Rights to Top-Hat Plan Benefits

Written by Louis A. Cannizzaro, in 2016

As more estate planning vehicles and financial products (such as pay-on-death accounts, joint accounts, revocable lifetime trusts, and various forms of retirement plans) become available and widely used, estates attorneys often find that the value of a decedent’s assets that were individually owned or left to the decedent’s estate (i.e., the “probate assets”) are greatly exceeded by the value of the assets that pass to a surviving joint owner or a named beneficiary by operation of law (the “non-probate assets”).

APPLICATIONS TO ZONING BOARDS OF APPEALS

Written by Stephen G. Limmer, in 2015

Should your client ask for exactly what it wants, or ask for more, anticipating a compromise approval? Do not ask for so much that you unnecessarily antagonize the zoning board of appeals [“ZBA”] and/or the community.

Installment Sale to Grantor Trust (“ISGT”)

Written by Hollis F. Russell and Lauren E. Touchard, in 2014

This memorandum outlines estate planning considerations involved in an installment sale to a grantor trust (“ISGT”). Essentially, an ISGT is a sale transaction in which the owner of a closely held corporation (or LLC) transfers a substantial portion of the corporation to a trust created by the owner where most of the consideration which the owner receives is in the form of a promissory note under an installment sale.

2014 Update on legal ethics

Written by Andrew J. Luskin, in 2014

On April 4, 2014, John Brickman and Andrew Luskin of the firm’s litigation group led a New York State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education program on Basic Lessons on Ethics and Civility. More than one hundred lawyers attended the program, held in Melville, New York. Mr. Luskin lectured on new developments in lawyers’ ethics. He has lectured in this annual program for the last decade. A chapter on new developments in legal ethics, written by Mr. Luskin and published in the 2014 course textbook, follows.

New York enacts new estate tax law

Written by Hollis F. Russell and Lauren E. Touchard, in 2014

Effective as of April 1, 2014, the New York legislature passed the Executive Budget for 2014-2015, which makes substantial changes to the New York estate tax law.

New York estate tax and its impact on estate planning for New York residents

Written by Hollis F. Russell and Lauren E. Touchard, in 2014

New York imposes an estate tax on its residents, which is in addition to the federal estate tax. As a result, the overall estate tax burden for New York residents is greater than for residents of many other states, which can complicate estate planning for New Yorkers. This memorandum summarizes the New York estate tax, how it is connected to the federal estate tax, and estate planning issues for New York residents taking the New York estate tax into account. These issues are particularly important for: (1) married New Yorkers whose estate plans should provide flexibility to handle the separate New York and federal estate tax exemption amounts; and (2) any New Yorker who is considering moving out of New York (and changing domicile) to a state imposing less onerous taxes.

Civility in everyday lawyering – 2014

Written by John M. Brickman, in 2014

On April 4, 2014, John Brickman and Andrew Luskin of the firm’s litigation group led a New York State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education program on Basic Lessons on Ethics and Civility. More than one hundred lawyers attended the program, held in Melville, New York. Mr. Brickman chaired the program and presented a segment on civility in everyday lawyering. He has chaired the Long Island edition of this annual program for twelve years. A chapter on civility issues, written by Mr. Brickman and published in the 2014 course textbook, follows.

Why Consider Making Substantial Gifts After 2012

Written by Hollis F. Russell and Lauren E. Touchard, in 2013

General Planning Memorandum In late 2012 – on the eve of significant scheduled changes to federal estate and gift tax laws scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2013 – there was a frenzy of estate planning activity for many high net worth individuals to complete gifts for children (and grandchildren). The scheduled changes were that the $5,000,000 exemption for federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax …

Qualified Personal Residence Trust (“QPRT”)

Written by Hollis F. Russell and Lauren E. Touchard, in 2012

What is a QPRT? – A qualified personal residence trust (“QPRT”) is a technique which allows the owner of a personal residence to give the residence in trust for the ultimate benefit of children or other beneficiaries in a way so that the gift tax value of the residence is significantly below its fair market value. Under the terms of the QPRT, the owner, as grantor of the trust, retains the right to use the residence for a specified period of years.