Blog of The Law Offices of Daniel Timins

Wills: What Do Executors Get Paid in New York?

When your Will is probated your Executor is entitled to receive a commission for their work. And while you can define what that commission is in your Will, most people choose New York’s statutory guideline for that commission (the concern is that if the fee is too low no one will want to be Executor, since you can’t force someone to do the job). In New York, that statute is created by the Surrogate’s Court Procedures Act, Section 2307, and it has a lot of juicy details that differentiate it from other state’s more-streamlined statutory commissions: Keep in mind that any assets which pass through a living trust, a joint account, or assets passing by “operation of law” (such as

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What You Can Do Now to Help Your Parents Apply for Medicaid

You may have heard it before: Someone’s elderly parent or grandparent breaks their hip or had a stroke or any one of the thousands of things that can happen to us when we start drinking Ensure for lunch, and now the family needs to apply for Medicaid for that person’s long term care needs. But the family members are having all types of trouble finding the necessary documents that Medicaid requires, such as marriage certificates, identification, proof of Social Security, tax returns, copies of all financial statements, the list is pretty lengthy. So, what can your parents do now to help you apply for Medicaid for them at some point in the future? 1.     Draft a Power of Attorney: Having a

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How to Secretly (and Correctly) Purchase Real Estate with Trusts and LLCs

Privacy is an almost-forgotten concept in our world. Perhaps we are trying to avoid being found by a greedy family member or being served in a vexatious lawsuit by a degenerate loser. Maybe you are a celebrity or media personality and don’t want your fans – or detractors – waiting outside your building or driveway (I love all of my adoring fans, but I don’t want them knocking on my front door before I start binging Punky Brewster reruns on Netflix). Maybe you are a foreign diplomat trying to secretly create a safe haven for your money and yourself in our wonderful country in case you piss off the head of your political party. But real estate records are public

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When Should I NOT Act as Mom’s Executor?

When your mom passes away with a valid Will and property being transferred by that Will, the Will is submitted to the Court who appoints an estate representative to wrap up her final affairs. This person or company – almost always named in the Will – is known as the Executor, and has the ability to do everything that your mom could do during her life: Collect her assets, pay creditors, review all of mom’s financial records and statements, file income tax returns, order her medical records, distribute her property as mom’s Will states, and even clean out mom’s closet (which she likely neglected to do before she died since, you know, she’s now dead). We say an Executor “steps

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The Battle of Winterfell: An Estate Attorney’s Payday

After turning down family plans for 70 Sunday nights, waiting more than 70 weeks for a new episode, and using nearly 70% of your brain’s computing power remembering all of the interpersonal relations in Westeros (could Hot Pie the baker actually be the Prince That Was Promised?), Game Of Thrones is almost over. But we are told the best is yet to come next Sunday when the Battle Royale Extraordinaire between the living and the Army of the Dead face off in Winterfell. And so, with only a few episodes left, facing what will likely be the greatest CGI human slaughter of all time, I am left wondering ONLY one thing: Why wasn’t anyone in Winterfell drafting their Will? If

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Unsigned Wills Are Meaningless (and Photocopies are Not Much Better)

I like to remind people that the laws regarding modern U.S. Wills, not only predate the founding of the U.S., but actually predate European discovery of the Western Hemisphere. In Olde England in the city of York having a signed, witnessed piece of paper instructing how you wanted your property to be distributed after your death was often the only way to ensure your desires were fulfilled. Original paper mattered back then – there were no other recording devices or accounts with beneficiary designations – and witnesses would later attest to the fact they had seen you sign said paper instead of someone else. And original, signed paper still matters for several legal documents today, including your Will. The issue

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