Updating your Estate Plan after Divorce

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Almost everyone who has been divorced or is ending their marriage needs an estate planning checklist for divorce. It’s imperative they revisit their estate planning documents to avoid inadvertently giving their ex control over their estate. While the divorce process attempts to equitably divide assets, it usually falls short of …

ABLE ACT PASSES

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Following years of national grassroots advocacy efforts, the community of individuals with special needs and their family members will have at their disposal a new tool with which to maintain a private fund of assets while preserving certain   government benefits. On December 19, 2014, the President   signed the Achieving Better Life …

SOME THINGS YOU COULD THROW AWAY

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Our clients often look over the piles of paper (old financial records, mostly) accumulating in their homes, and ask us whether they really need to keep all that stuff. Is it important to hold on to all those documents for legal, tax or other reasons? Sometimes, by the way, the …

Avoid Problems of Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning

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Many people only find out when it’s too late that their estate plans contain costly errors. Mistakes aren’t necessarily limited to lay people using do-it-yourself kits; inexperienced estate planners make mistakes too. Here are some overlooked issues that may occur without the advice of a practiced estate planning attorney. Non-probate …

IRA Rollover Ruling

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Uncle Sam’s Tax Court just ruled that the one-rollover-per-yea​r rule applies to all of a taxpayer’s IRAs rather than to each IRA separately. And that ruling, experts say, is in direct conflict with IRS Publication 590, the bible for IRAs. “Industry leaders, financial advisers, and everyone else who handles IRAs are stunned,” said Denise …

Senate Bill Updates SSI and Would Help Elder Poor

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2014 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The bill, championed by the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC),would fix key elements of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program that currently make …

ESTATE ADMINISTRATION

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Estate Administration Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing a person’s property (the “estate”) after death.  If the person had a will, the will goes through probate, which is the process by which the deceased person’s property is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named …

Century of Giving Phase II Winner Announced

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Celebrating 100 Years  1913-2013 Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern, LLP The votes are in, and Long Islanders have declared the Alzheimer’s Disease  Resource Center of New York to be the winner of the second phase of the 2013 Century of Giving philanthropic contest. “We are pleased to announce that Alzheimer’s …

Google Develops ‘digital will’

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Google has a way to ensure your data dies when you do. The international tech giant, best known for its much-used search engine, has launched an Inactivity Account Manager, a “digital will” of sorts that allows users to determine what to do with their online “digital assets” once it’s no …

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Your Special Needs Trust (“SNT”) Defined You have a special needs trust— or you have been designated as the trustee of a special needs trust— or your child has a special needs trust. What is a trust? What is a trustee? What is a beneficiary? What are all these terms …

2013 is our 100th Anniversary!

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Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern was originally founded by Harry A. Davidow in 1913. The firm later expanded with the addition of Harry’s two sons, Sanford and Wallace and then his grandson, Lawrence, who currently serves as Managing Partner. Located in the Davidow’s hometown of Patchogue, New York, the law …

MEDICARE COVERAGE RULES CHANGED

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In a major change in Medicare coverage rules, the Obama Administration has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit and end Medicare’s longstanding practice of requiring that beneficiaries with chronic conditions and disabilities show a likelihood of improvement in order to receive coverage of skilled care and therapy services.The policy …

Romney’s Plans for Medicaid

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As the presidential campaign unfolds, the differences in approaches to Medicare by President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have taken center stage. But what is getting far less scrutiny: Romney’s plans for Medicaid. He would convert the health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly into a …

5 Things to Discuss Before Retirement

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You may have a vision for your retirement, but does your spouse share that vision? Spouses often disagree about many key retirement details. It is important to work together to come up with a plan you both can accept. A 2011 study by Fidelity Investments found that many husbands and wives are …