Many individuals who open a joint bank account in New York are completely unaware of the legal and tax implications associated with these types of accounts. This is quite ironic, given that joint accounts are often opened to simplify inheritance matters, not to complicate them.

There are two presumptions associated with joint accounts, under NYBL 675:

1. Moiety Rule: When a deposit is made into a joint bank account in the name of the depositor and another person, each account holder is granted an immediate and unconditional one-half interest in the deposited funds.


Continue Reading Joint Bank Accounts in New York: A Confusion of Law and Intent

There are different motivations for living child-free. Some couples focus on careers, travel or hobbies. Others see children as a burdensome financial obligation. Yet others are unable to have children. Regardless of reasons, planning for a childless couple may be somewhat different than for a couple with children (no need for guardians for minors), but just as important.

Continue Reading Planning for a Childless Couple

Section 1031 of the tax code allows those who sell a real estate property and invest the proceeds in a different real estate property to postpone capital gains taxes. It is a great strategy for investors: with a 1031 exchange, after a sale of a property you can use 100% of the proceeds to buy a new building; without 1031, if you had to pay capital gains taxes, you would only be able to reinvest approximately 65% of the proceeds.

This provision dates back to the 1920s. Yet both Democrats and recently Republicans have talked about eliminating it. The provision is viewed as a loophole, and all loopholes are currently getting reviewed, as part of the overall package of decrease in tax rates.

Continue Reading Will the 1031 “Like-Kind” Exchange be now eliminated?

Currently, the gift and estate tax threshold is $5.5MM per person ($11MM per married couple). Assets passing at death that are above  that threshold are taxed at 40%. Gifts made during lifetime that are above this threshold are also taxed at 40%. 

Less than 1 out of 550 of people who die have taxable estates.

Continue Reading Trump just proposed to eliminate the Estate Tax completely. Will it affect you?

What are these agreements? These are absolutely crucial both to start ups and to existing businesses where there is more than one owner involved. This document outlines the relationship between the owners, assigns roles and responsibilities, shows the ownership percentage of the business and outlines what happens when the owners need to part ways.
There are many reasons why owners may need to leave the business. Some are voluntary (sale of ownership ). Others are not voluntary: death, disability, personal bankruptcy, divorce, forced termination of owner’s employment by the company and irreconcilable differences between the owners.

Continue Reading Buy / Sell Agreements