The New Power of Attorney Law
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The New Power of Attorney Law

On December 15, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law changes to the New York State Power of Attorney. Changes will take effect on June 13, 2021 and the new forms cannot be executed before that date. This also means that the old form should not be executed on or after that date.   There are...

New York State Excelsior Pass
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New York State Excelsior Pass

Now that the CDC has relaxed rules for vaccinated individuals, and many businesses have fully reopened in New York State, it may become necessary for individuals to provide proof of a COVID19 vaccination. The New York State Excelsior Pass provides digital proof of vaccination. It is a free, fast and secure way to provide proof...

Proposed Tax Legislation Could Have Significant Consequences
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Proposed Tax Legislation Could Have Significant Consequences

In our last newsletter, we forecast potential changes to estate taxes due to the majority maintained by the Democrats in the House of Representatives and the slight advantage the Democrats have in the Senate because Vice President Harris, a Democrat, casts the tie-breaking vote. The President recently released his American Family Plan (AFP) which includes...

Spring Cleaning — Time To Review and Renew
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Spring Cleaning — Time To Review and Renew

Tax season is over! Spring has FINALLY sprung! It’s time to “review and renew.” Each spring, we at Berwitz & DiTata LLP encourage our clients, friends and “would be” friends to focus on estate planning, refresh those resolutions and stop procrastinating. We call it our annual “Review and Renew” program.   If you have never...

José Fernández’s Untimely Death Raises Estate Planning Issues
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José Fernández’s Untimely Death Raises Estate Planning Issues

José Fernández was a talented, young pitcher for the Miami Marlins. His death, on September 25, 2016 at the age of 24, was a tragic loss for the baseball community, the Cuban American community and, most importantly, his family. The loss was made more tragic by the reports that, shortly before his death, Fernández announced,...

“Orphan Elders”— Is Aging in Place Always the Best Option?
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“Orphan Elders”— Is Aging in Place Always the Best Option?

“Orphan Elders” is the term used to describe seniors who are aging alone – without a network of family and friends. They are single or widowed, have no children, or none with whom they have a regular and supportive relationship, and no support system. Because of health or financial reasons, they may be isolated socially....

Berwitz & DiTata LLP Wins First Case Under New NYS Decanting Law
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Berwitz & DiTata LLP Wins First Case Under New NYS Decanting Law

What is “decanting” and why does this matter? Decanting is the legal term for transferring assets from one irrevocable trust to another irrevocable trust. Typically, when we think of irrevocable trusts, we think they cannot be changed – and that’s true. But, if an irrevocable trust is seriously flawed, decanting is the process that provides...

Guardianship Myths and Misconceptions
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Guardianship Myths and Misconceptions

Part of our practice, at Berwitz & DiTata LLP, is to represent Guardians who have been appointed under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law. It is surprising how many well-intentioned Guardians are ignorant of their responsibilities. This can be really problematic. Here are some misconceptions that Guardians frequently have:   It is OK to...

Lessons Learned from Chadwick Boseman
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Lessons Learned from Chadwick Boseman

The premature death of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, a young actor who had such a positive impact on so many lives, serves as a sad reminder of the importance of estate planning.   Shortly before his death, Boseman married his long time fiancé.  Boseman’s marriage significantly affected the disposition of his estate.  When a...

Understanding your FDIC Coverage
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Understanding your FDIC Coverage

The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is an independent agency of the United States government created to protect depositors of FDIC insured banks and savings associations against loss due to the failure of the insured bank. It covers all types of deposits: checking, savings, money market and time deposits like certificate of deposits (“CDs”), dollar-for-dollar...