The Business Side of a Second Marriage
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The Business Side of a Second Marriage

A new marriage often presents an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to move forward in life. Before your wedding celebration, however, there are many important things to consider if you are going to make the transition a smooth one. Are you combining households? Are you moving to a new space or is one...

Finding Relatives Through DNA Testing: Adoption and Inheritance Rights
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Finding Relatives Through DNA Testing: Adoption and Inheritance Rights

The recent popularity of DNA testing kits makes it possible to find relatives we never knew existed. Children who were given up for adoption, or “adopted out,” are now discovering siblings and half-siblings. They are finding parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to whom they are biologically related. Apart from all of the other issues...

Mediation in Surrogate’s Court and Elder Law Matters
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Mediation in Surrogate’s Court and Elder Law Matters

Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive form of alternative dispute resolution used to resolve a broad range of conflicts in a variety of settings. It is particularly well suited to the resolution of conflicts among and between family members. It is a process by which an impartial third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes...

Anticipated Legislative Changes Affecting Qualified Retirement Account
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Anticipated Legislative Changes Affecting Qualified Retirement Account

Most of our clients own some form of qualified retirement account such as a traditional individual retirement account (IRA), 401K, 403B, SEP or Keogh. Such an account provides significant benefits to the account owner because the deposits into the account are made with pre-income-tax dollars and the assets in the account grow “tax-free” until withdrawn...

Title Matters For Joint Tenants and Tenants-in-Common
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Title Matters For Joint Tenants and Tenants-in-Common

Do you know what type of account you opened when you and your spouse opened an account jointly? What about the account you own with your child? When was the last time you looked at your deed? Did you and your spouse buy your home before you were married? When was the last time you...

Guardianship ABCs
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Guardianship ABCs

A guardianship proceeding seeks a court determination as to whether an individual is incapable of handling their own financial and/or personal needs and, if not, to appoint a guardian to act on behalf of the individual. Such a proceeding is both costly and time-consuming.   You can expect a guardianship proceeding to cost thousands of...

Can I Refuse To Accept An Inheritance?
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Can I Refuse To Accept An Inheritance?

  Believe it or not, there are reasons why people occasionally ask about refusing an inheritance. Sometimes the inheritance is of property that is undesirable or it is an asset that is of no value or one that would be costly to maintain. There are individuals who, for religious or philosophical reasons, do not wish...

The Health Care Proxy and the Living Will
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The Health Care Proxy and the Living Will

It is not unusual for people to misunderstand the purpose and intent of a living will – not to be confused with a last will and testament. In fact, when we review estate planning documents with our clients before they execute them, we are often asked about the differences between health care proxies and living...

Estate Planning Lessons Learned From the Tragic Death of Anthony Bourdain
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Estate Planning Lessons Learned From the Tragic Death of Anthony Bourdain

Estate Planning Lessons Learned Once again, the death of a celebrity reminds us of the importance of thoughtful and comprehensive estate planning. Anthony Bourdain was an American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality. His death by suicide was certainly tragic but, shortly after the event, the media reported that he and his wife...