2015

December

Caring for Aging Parents

As life expectancies continue to increase, it becomes much more likely that you will need to financially help an aging parent. If you find yourself in that situation, review the tax laws to determine whether you can obtain some tax relief. The key is to determine whether you can deduct your parent as a dependent, which entitles you to an additional personal exemption on your tax return, reducing… Continue Reading

Fear Factors in Elder Care Planning

The fear of many elderly individuals — perhaps even yourself or someone in your family — is that nursing home costs will consume their life savings before they can be passed to their heirs. This concern is real and has spawned elder care planning strategies designed to minimize the damage… Continue Reading

 

 

Capital Gains: To Gift or Not to Gift?

What is a capital gain? Generally, a capital gain results from a sale of an asset, such as a stock, at a higher price than the owner originally paid. What the owner paid for the asset is known as the cost basis. If the sale price is higher than the cost basis, the difference between the two is a capital gain. A long-term capital gain is a gain resulting from a holding period of more than one year. For most taxpayers… Continue Reading

 

November

A Measured Approach to Selecting the Right Trustee

A trust is often only as good as the person selected to manage it. It may a daunting process, but selecting the right trustee and having fail-safes in place are crucial to ensuring the complexities of a trust are handled appropriately. Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing different trustees. Many experts agree that a relative is a logical trustee choice for trusts designed to transfer wealth within the… Continue Reading

Choosing a Respite Caregiver

Respite care: Short-term services for elderly and disabled people so their primary caregivers get a break. Providing care for an aging parent or relative can be an all-consuming task, especially if it involves dealing with serious illnesses. Even patient and loving caregivers need to rest and rejuvenate on occasion. In fact, studies have shown that taking regular breaks is important for the health of caregivers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notes that the demands involved hurt “the health of caregivers, resulting in more vulnerability to infectious diseases… Continue Reading

 

TV Lessons in Estate Planning: The Golden Girls

The Golden Girls is one of the most unique sitcoms in television history. Airing on NBC beginning on September 14, 1985, the show starred comedy icons Betty White and Bea Arthur along with Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty. They played Rose Nylund, Dorothy Zbornak, Blanche Devereaux and Sophia Petrillo (Dorothy’s mother), respectively. The show centers around these four older women as they all live together in, where else, Miami, Florida.  Continue Reading

October

TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Gilligan’s Island

Gilligan’s Island is a legendary TV show that had a shorter run than people think (three seasons) on network television. The show, which almost all critics hated, received a cult following during its short run in primetime and syndication. The show follows the adventures of the doomed passengers aboard the S.S. Minnow. The passengers…  Continue Reading

Q&A: Medicaid Planning

There are many things to consider when applying for Medicaid and the process can be very confusing. It’s also important to start planning for Medicaid before you actually need to apply. Below are some frequently asked questions we hear from individuals regarding Medicaid planning and eligibility. Continue Reading

 

 

TV Lessons in Estate Planning: The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years made its TV debut on January 31, 1989 on ABC immediately following Super Bowl XXII. The show revolves around Kevin Arnold from ages 12 to 17 and his trials and tribulations during the late sixties and early seventies. The show doesn’t actually disclose its location but it’s believed to be Huntington, Long Island, where one of the writers…  Continue Reading

 

TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Diff’rent Strokes

Diff’rent Stokes made its debut on NBC on November 3, 1978 and later switched to ABC. The show was about two young boys from Harlem, Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis (Todd Bridges) who were adopted by their deceased mother’s boss, Phillip Drummond, who had his own daughter, Kimberly. Helping out in the house was the ever-present…  Continue Reading

 

 

What Are the Main Reasons People Create Trusts?

People create trusts for various reasons. The main reasons are to: avoid probate; or pay less in federal and/or state estate taxes. This article will discuss the uses of trusts in estate planning and whether they are right for you.  Continue Reading

 

 

Estate Planning Concerns for Couples Without Children

If you don’t have children, you may think it is not that important to engage in estate planning. In fact, it may be more important. There are hidden concerns for couples without children. In many scenarios, your assets may pass to an individual or individuals you would never want to receive them. A typical example of a married or unmarried couple without children…  Continue Reading

 

Q&A: Special Needs Planning

With October being National Special Needs Law Month, it’s a good opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions regarding special needs planning. Continue Reading

 

 

TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Full House

Full House made its debut on ABC on September 22, 1987 lasting 192 episodes and living immortally in syndication. It was a key part of ABC’s TGIF TV programming. The plot revolves around Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) and his three daughters who raises with the help of Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) and Uncle Joey (not a real uncle) after the death of his wife…  Continue Reading

 

TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Growing Pains

Growing Pains made its TV debut on ABC on September 24, 1985 and centered around the Seavers, an upper/middle class family living in Long Island. Alan Thicke played Dr. Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist who worked out of the house and raised the Seaver kids while Maggie Malone Seaver, a TV reporter, had recently returned to work…  Continue Reading

 

September

 TV Lessons in Estate Planning: All in the Family

All in the Family made its TV debut on CBS on January 12, 1971. It forever changed what the “line” was for television at the time, much like more modern shows such as NYPD Blue and The Sopranos. The show focused on the Bunkers (Archie and Edith) and their daughter, Gloria, who married Michael “Meathead” Stivic. The show broke ground for its insights into…  Continue Reading

Falling into Autumn: A Season of Harvest & Reflection

Today marks the first day of Autumn. Traditionally, winter is a period of rest and renewal, spring is filled with promise, summer is the time for growth, and autumn is the season of harvest and reflection. After spending the year planning, planting and cultivating your crops, autumn is when you finally get to reap the rewards of your work and begin planning for the…  Continue Reading

 

The Herzog Law Firm is a Proud Sponsor of Senior Citizens’ Law Day

The Herzog Law Firm is a proud sponsor of Senior Citizens’ Law Day on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Held at Albany Law School, it is a free event for seniors and their caregivers. We hope to see you there! Continue Reading

 

Estate Planning and Sibling Rivalry

There is a perception that estate litigation occurs only where there are multi-million dollar estates, 2nd or 3rd spouses, children from prior marriages, or opportunistic care givers.  While, yes, there are many estate litigation cases that result from lots of money, lots of wives and lots of last minute estate plan changes, estate litigations need only an emotional spark and a perceived … Continue Reading

 

Stepchildren, Adopted Children and Natural Children: Who Inherits?

With the different variations of families in today’s modern world, complications can arise as to who has the legal right to inherit assets. In some cases, an adult child will come to a lawyer’s office after a parent has died to discuss the distribution of the estate — only to find out that he or she is not entitled to anything. Continue Reading

 

 

Seven Non-Tax Reasons to Create a Trust

Using trusts as an estate planning tool is often done to achieve tax savings. By setting up certain types of trusts, a high-net-worth individual can avoid exposure to estate taxes levied by the federal and state governments. While this is an important consideration if your estate is likely to be liable for death taxes, there are many other reasons to create a trust. Continue Reading

 

The Herzog Law Firm Welcomes New Senior Associate Attorney David A. Kubikian

The Herzog Law Firm welcomes new Senior Associate Attorney David A. Kubikian.  Prior to joining our firm, Mr. Kubikian worked at the New York offices of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP from 2006 to 2011.  After meeting his beautiful wife in New York City, Mr. Kubikian relocated to Saratoga Springs to start a family.  Most recently, Mr. Kubikian has successfully owned and operated The Kubikian Law Firm, PLLC in Clifton Park serving… Continue Reading

 

Inheriting Guns in New York State

In 2013, the New York State Legislature passed the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, commonly known as the NY SAFE Act, which contains several firearms regulations. Some of these provisions directly impact probate proceedings. Continue Reading

 

Happy Grandparents Day!

Thank you to all of the grandparents who have shaped our lives.  Continue Reading

 

 

 

Welcome to the Herzog Herald!

Staying connected to clients and the community has always been a priority at the Herzog Law Firm. Two years ago, we launched our monthly newsletter to share news and tips with our clients. Now, as the second anniversary is upon us, we are launching the Herzog Herald as a blog companion to our monthly newsletter. Continue Reading