By Jason Stern
Probate is the opposite of complicated. It is the act of drafting an estate attorney supervised will by a NY estate lawyer and filing it with the Court when the time comes for probate. For years probate was reduced to a four letter word by high priced financial planners looking to generate substantial fees. Financial planners would often and still do pack diners, hidden conference rooms in the back of local banks and even hotel conference centers with unsuspecting victims trying to “educate” them with seminars regarding irrevocable trusts they did not need. However as we can all see probate is not a four letter word and here’s why.
Why Probate is Putting NY Financial Planners Out of Business?
For years the NY financial planning field attracted the best and brightest in NY. Historically, advanced NY estate planning was a fascinating area of practice that offered great rewards for those who could master the Federal and NYS Estate Tax codes. Unfortunately, in light of the recent changes to both the Federal and New York State Estate Tax Codes, it has sent many high-end NY financial planners scrambling for the door. However, this bad news for NY financial planners is very good news for you.
Last year, in 2013, only 3,800 estates in the entire country were subjected to the Federal Estate Tax. This is due to the current administration’s overhaul of our estate tax code. As recently as 2008 the 40% tax rate under the Federal Estate Code would apply to any estates above $4,000,000.00 per married couple. As such any probatable estate assets in any estates greater than this figure were subjected to the combined 60% Federal and NYS estate taxes. Since 2008, the Obama Administration quietly raised the amount of estate assets exempt from Federal Estate Taxation to $10,680,000.00 per married couple. As such for the past three years a NY estate lawyer only had to contend with the annoying NYS estate tax of between 6%-16%. That is until now.
Currently New York State’s Governor Cuomo is enacting a very popular piece of legislation in Albany, which will make the NYS Estate Tax mirror the Federal. Rather than the current New York State estate tax of between 6%-16% on all estates above $1,000,000.00, the same $10,680,000.00 that applies at the Federal level would also apply to the State level. Almost overnight the New York State Estate Law will go from being one of the worst in the country to one of the best.
When this legislation is enacted later this year it will be good news for everyone, everyone except your high priced NY financial planners. Under the old regulations clients with estate assets in excess of the $1,000,000.00 were forced to set up elaborate irrevocable trusts, make premature life time gifts to distributees before they intended to and implement complicated Family Limited Partnerships just to avoid NYS estate taxation.
Those days are over. Any client with an estate under $10.7 million will simply have their NY estate lawyer draft a will leaving everything to their beneficiaries as they see fit. Without the need for complex estate tax avoidance and intricate NY trust & estate planning, clients will save millions in both estate tax and financial planning fees.
The average person will soon be able to transfer obscene amounts of money in New York State without owing a single dime in Federal or NY estate tax. With the help of a NY estate probatelawyer, you will soon be able to draft a simple will for probate without the burdens of the estate tax. In rare instances such as Medicaid planning and in NY estates with assets exceeding $10.7 million some estate planning may still be required. For the vast majority of us NY estate planning will not be required.
If you or a loved one are thinking about planning your estate and would like to speak with a New York estate lawyer or NY wills lawyer, feel free to call The Law Offices of Jason W. Stern & Associates at (718) 261-2444 for a free consultation. Our Queens estate lawyers have nearly 45 years of combined NY estate law experience drafting and probating the wills for families like yours in the counties of Queens, New York, Kings, Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Nassau, Orange, Dutchess as well as in the State of New Jersey.