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NY’s Latest Legislation: What Passed, What Didn’t, What’s Next

Sharon L. Klein and Rebecca H. Lomazow write: The 2017-18 legislative session officially opened on Jan. 4, 2017 and recessed on June 21, 2017. It is instructive to review what passed before the June recess, what failed to pass and what lies ahead when the session resumes in January 2018.

Planning for the Suddenly Wealthy: Call in the SWATT Team

Jonathan Rikoon and Steven Olenick write: Coming into money can be both a blessing and a curse. Special attention from a team of professional advisors can avoid negative consequences from the windfall. What’s more, implementing a Sudden (or Substantial) Wealth Accumulation and Transmission Trust (SWATT) can mean the difference between the client enjoying lifelong comfort or ending up worse off financially than before the sudden wealth.

Multigenerational Estate Planning in Times of Anticipated Change

Mark B. Rubin and Michael P. Hedden write: The estate planning community has benefited from low interest rates, initially coupled with low asset values, for nearly a decade. During this period, many families took advantage of tax incentives to transfer both wealth and ultimate control of those assets to younger generations, while ensuring that the older generation still enjoyed sufficient income. The economic and tax factors that encouraged families and non-family groups to engage in this type of planning still exist, and so do various techniques that accomplish a broad range of tax, financial, and family objectives.

The Digital Footprint After Death: Who Wears the Shoes?

Peter B. Skelos, Lesli P. Hiller and Robert M. Harper write: Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbler, online banking, online shopping and other forms of electronic communications comprise our digital footprint. They are seemingly ubiquitous and omnipresent in the life of our business, social, and personal affairs. But, on death, who has the right of access to a decedent’s digital footprint? More importantly, what is the scope of that access? Can a fiduciary figuratively step into the decedent’s shoes and gain full access to the decedent’s digital assets and electronic communications?

Dead Hand Control and Estate Tax Considerations

Christina Jonathan and Terence E. Smolev discuss the concept of dead hand control, using as an example the will of Pulitzer and Tony Award winning author and playwright Edward Albee, whose will was recently admitted to probate in the Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court and which directed his executors to destroy some of his works.