A Lesson Learned at David Bowie’s Expense
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A Lesson Learned at David Bowie’s Expense

David Bowie, a trend setting entertainer, died from cancer on January 10, 2016. By January 29 the media was already in possession of the details of Mr. Bowie’s estate plan. We learned that his estate was worth as much as $100 million, $2 million of which he left to his personal assistant and another $1...

Advance Funeral Planning Makes Financial Sense
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Advance Funeral Planning Makes Financial Sense

It’s easy to understand how advance funeral planning can reduce the stress on surviving family members and provide peace of mind. It also makes good financial sense. Many people think of funeral planning as part of estate planning.   The benefits of preplanning our own include: the ability to make personal and specific selections that...

A Lesson Learned at Prince’s Expense
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A Lesson Learned at Prince’s Expense

In the last issue of A Step Ahead, we discussed how David Bowie’s failure to incorporate a trust in his estate plan opened his plan to public scrutiny. This month we lost Prince, another trend setting entertainer whose estate is going to occupy the media. Within days, the public was informed that Prince died “intestate,”...

Elder Abuse — Myths and Misconceptions
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Elder Abuse — Myths and Misconceptions

Our perceptions about elder abuse are often misguided. Unfor- tunately, our misconceptions affect our ability to recognize the signs of abuse and our sense of urgency about stopping it. Here are some of the myths:   1. Elder abuse only occurs in nursing homes. Even though elder abuse does occur in nursing homes, most of...

Does A “Medigap” Health Insurance Plan Make Sense?
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Does A “Medigap” Health Insurance Plan Make Sense?

If you or a loved one are on Medicare and are considering the purchase of a Medicare Supplement plan, you probably have some questions. Often our clients want to know: What do these plans cover? Do we really need this? How do we choose? Should we still pay for it if we begin to receive...

The ABLE Act: Is it all that it’s cracked up to be?
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The ABLE Act: Is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

The Achieving a Better Life Exprience Act of 2014 (the “ABLE Act”) was signed into law by President Obama in December 2014 and effective in New York as of April 1, 2016. The law is designed to help certain individuals with disabilities pay for qualified expenses without adversely affecting benefits from Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”),...

Can I Gift My Life Insurance to Charity?
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Can I Gift My Life Insurance to Charity?

Life insurance has long been touted as an essential strategy for protecting a young and growing fam- ily. As we age, however, life insurance becomes more expensive and the need for it may lessen. Recently, clients of ours asked about donating a life insurance policy to charity. They had already put away their “nest egg”...

Supplemental Needs Trusts for Adult Beneficiaries
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Supplemental Needs Trusts for Adult Beneficiaries

When one creates an estate plan, he or she will generally inquire as to the provisions that will protect the rights of minor children. What is often overlooked is planning for adult beneficiaries who may be receiving governmental benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. Certain govern- mental programs have income and resource limits...

Five Estate Planning Myths
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Five Estate Planning Myths

Understanding who needs to do estate planning, what an effective plan should include and how to go about executing the documents, is key to establishing a valid and enforceable plan that is right for you. Misconceptions abound and any one of them can result in costly mistakes.   Properly crafted, an estate plan will protect...

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...