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Eve Green Koopersmith, a partner, Doris L. Martin, a partner/director, and Barbara D. Knothe, a partner at Garfunkel Wild, review the documents and laws that govern health care decisions in New York, and advises which ones should be part of a complete estate plan. Please keep in mind, they note, that given the nature of medical treatment issues, this article cannot provide a template for all clients, and a particular client's circumstances must be considered with respect to which documents fit best.
Lauren Rocklin, a litigator at Withers Bergman, writes that there is a good reason why the details of how Steve Jobs disposed of his fortune, recently estimated at approximately $5.5 billion, have not made their way across the front page of the New York Post.
Jonathan J. Rikoon, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, and Louise Ding Yang, an associate at the firm, write that over the past decade more than 30 jurisdictions have enacted legislationprimarily driven by controversial provisions included in the 2000 Uniform Trust Codepermitting some form of a "quiet" or "silent" trust in which the settlor abrogates or severely limits a trustee's duty to inform beneficiaries of the existence of an irrevocable trust or to notify beneficiaries of certain other trust information.
Ann-Margaret Carrozza writes that New York estate planners have more tools than ever before with which to revoke or amend existing irrevocable trusts, sorust settlors and drafters need to be aware of the ways trusts can later be changed in order to ensure that their original objectives are subsequently carried out.
Linda Hirschson, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, and Shifra Herzberg, an associate at the firm, write that estate portability seemingly simplifies estate planning, since it permits a decedent to transfer her entire estate to her surviving spouse free of federal estate tax by operation of the marital deduction without fear of wasting her federal estate tax exemption, but it also raises a number of questions.
Genser Dubow Genser & Cona's Jennifer B. Cona and Lynn Kay write that, from the attorney's perspective, advance directives were always a necessary part of the estate planning conversation but were rarely the focus; clients seldom understood the value of such documents unless they had personally been through a health care crisis.