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What I do:

  • I help people with estate plans. I work on the administration of estates, guardianships, and trusts. I represent folks in controversies about estates, guardianships, and trusts.
  • I give legal advice, write legal documents, go to court, and serve as guardian, executor, and administrator. I have a Masters in Taxation from N.Y.U., and I give advice on taxes. But I let accountants do the tax returns.
  • I try to write my legal papers, when practical, in plain language.
  • I keep my overhead low and my fees reflect this.

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Special Note: The Federal Estate Tax expired in 2010. This was good news for some families. But there was a downside to the expiration of the estate tax because property going through estates in 2010 did not automatically get a new income tax basis in inherited property equal to the fair market value of the property on the date of death. New measures were enacted eventually to deal with the potential for capital gains tax on property inherited in 2010 while there was no Federal Estate Tax.

Late in 2010, the Federal Estate Tax was extended for 2011 and 2012. The threshold for the tax was raised to $5,000,000. Later the tax was "made permanent" for 2013 and future years with a threshold in 2013 of $5,250,000 (the extra $250,000 was an inflation adjustment).  So the estate tax is no longer a middle-class worry. But if you have an estate worth more than $5,250,000 now, learning about the estate tax and how to plan for it could save your family a big tax bill later.