Title Matters
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Title Matters

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...

Wills Do Not Avoid Probate
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Wills Do Not Avoid Probate

We are frequently asked whether having a Will avoids probate. Actually, the opposite is true. If a Will is the foundation of your estate plan, a probate proceeding is required after your death in order to retitle the assets that you owned prior to your death. The purpose of the probate proceeding is to validate...

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...

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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...

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Senior Move Managers Can Help With Downsizing

Often our “senior” clients recognize that their home is too large and requires more in the way of upkeep and maintenance than they can manage.  Sometimes they even admit that it is the task of downsizing, and all that it entails, that prevents them from taking the next step. This article (link below), published in...

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Spring Cleaning 2016 – 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 created...

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Do Jointly Owned Accounts Pass to the Survivor?

Estate planning, whether simple or complex, requires careful attention to details which, if overlooked or misunderstood, can undermine the plan’s effectiveness. We like to highlight common estate planning mistakes and misconceptions whenever we can. Most people misunderstand joint accounts. Some believe that they can add the name of a loved one onto an account “for...

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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 pre-planning our own include: the ability to make personal and specific selections that most...

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Estate Planning for Business Owners

If you are the owner of a business or professional practice, it is important that your estate planning documents are complete and up-to-date. You should develop an ownership transition plan so that your family and your business will be protected in the event of your death or incapacity. It is also important to consider the...