Estate Taxes in New York

 

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Law Offices of Barbara H. Katsos
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Barbara Katsos has practiced law in New York for more than 20 years. The owner of the Law Offices of Barbara H. Katsos in New York, NY, she manages firm operations and works directly with clients. Through her office, Dr. Katsos and her team handle cases involving trusts, wills, and estate matters, such as estate taxes.

In the State of New York, a person’s property is eligible to be taxed if their total estate exceeds $5.25 million. This amount is scheduled to increase in 2019, at which point it will match the federal requirement of exceeding $5.49 million to be eligible for taxation.

When calculating this amount, the state takes into consideration a person’s real estate, cars, cash, bank accounts, and securities. If any of this property is jointly owned, the state still counts 100 percent of its value when calculating estate sizes. Further, depending on how they’ve been structured, the death benefit of a life insurance policy may also be taxable.

The estate tax rate in New York is lower than the federal estate tax rate. At the federal level, qualifying estates are taxed at a 40 percent rate. This drops to between 5 percent and 16 percent at the state level. However, unlike some states that only tax the amount that is over the exempt amount, New York taxes the entire value. As a result, the actual tax may seem higher despite the lower rate.

Further, estates are subject to both a state and federal taxes if they are above the exemption amounts. The federal government may allow estates to deduct state taxes from the federal tax.

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Attorney Katsos Successfully Appeals Mortgage Fraud Case

 

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Law Offices of Barbara Katsos
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As the owner of The Law Offices of Barbara Katsos in New York, NY, Barbara H. Katsos represents clients in a broad range of real estate matters. In 2009, Dr. Katsos represented an appellant in a complex case that business ethics textbooks have cited as an example of fraudulent inducement.

In 2009, defendant-appellant Radiah K. Givens filed an appeal against plaintiff-respondent Joseph I. Rosenzweig in a matter related to a claim to foreclose on mortgages. Plaintiff Rosenzweig had issued mortgages to Ms. Givens. However, at the time this occurred, the two had been in a romantic relationship.

Mr. Rosenzweig, the elder in the couple by 19 years, had provided the 10-percent down payment on the property and hired a friend to represent both parties at the closing. At the time, Mr. Rosenzweig was married with children, a fact unknown to Ms. Givens.

Nearly two years later, Ms. Givens and Mr. Rosenzweig married in Jamaica, although he was still married to his first wife. Ms. Givens ultimately learned of her husband’s duplicity, and her marriage to him was annulled in 2007.

Mr. Rosenzweig had been paying all money on Ms. Givens’ mortgage. As soon as Ms. Givens discovered Rosenzweig’s bigamy, however, he began asking her for mortgage payments and ultimately took her to court. The original order of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, granted summary judgment to the plaintiff Rosenzweig, dismissed the defendant’s counterclaims and affirmative defenses and denied her request for punitive damages.

Defendant Givens appealed the decision, at which time Justice Karla Moskowitz elected to modify the original order and deny summary judgment. The court upheld Givens’ counterclaims of fraudulent inducement to marry and deceit in drawing her into mortgage agreements. Justice Moskowitz also noted that since business arrangements between spouses necessitate fiduciary relationships and complete good faith, the court should not have dismissed Givens’ claims prior to discovery.

An Overview of Leases in New York

 

Requirements for Lease Termination with Cause in New York

 

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Law Offices of Barbara Katsos
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As owner of the Law Offices of Barbara Katsos in New York, NY, Barbara Katsos handles a variety of real estate matters. Ms. Katsos draws on an in-depth understanding of tenant law, including eviction requirements, and has represented both tenants and landlords.

In the State of New York, a landlord may not legally evict a tenant without cause. However, if the tenant has neglected to pay rent or has violated another term of the lease, the landlord may start eviction proceedings.

If the cause is non-payment of rent, the landlord must first present the tenant with a three-day notice to pay or vacate the premises. If the tenant does not pay the amount due in full within three days, the landlord may file a Petition and Notice of Petition. This specifies the reason for eviction and the date of the court hearing.

If the lease violation is of another nature, the landlord must first issue a Notice to Cure. This tells the tenant that he or she has 10 days to resolve the violation.

If the tenant fails to fix the issue named in the Notice to Cure, the landlord may issue a Notice of Termination. This gives the tenant 30 days to vacate the unit. If the tenant remains after 30 days, the landlord has the legal right to file the Petition and Notice of Petition.

Like petitions issued for nonpayment of rent, a petition for lease violation leads to a court hearing, where the landlord must present proof of the violation. If the judge finds on the landlord’s behalf, the judge may specify a period of time within which the tenant must rectify the issue. This is typically five days in the case of rent nonpayment, though other violations may call for different terms.

Should the tenant fail to resolve the issue within the specified time, the landlord may secure a Warrant of Eviction. This allows the city marshal to serve a 72-hour notice on the tenant. If the tenant does not vacate the premises within this time, the marshal may forcibly remove him or her.

Rosenzweig v. Givens – Fraudulent Inducement Case Law

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos pic

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos
Image: katsosnylaw.com

At the Law Offices of Barbara Katsos, attorney Barbara Katsos and her associates focus on wills, estate planning, and real estate law. The firm also provides prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, and other contracts related to matrimonial proceedings. Dr. Katsos earned a particularly notable victory in this field in 2009 while representing the defendant in Rosenzweig v. Givens.

The plaintiff Joseph Rosenzweig took legal action against defendant Radiah Givens to foreclose on two mortgages he had issued to her previously. The defendant entered a counterclaim of fraudulent inducement, maintaining that the plaintiff had tricked her into signing these documents.

When the plaintiff issued those mortgages in 2002, he was in a romantic relationship with the defendant. She was a student at the time, and 19 years younger than the plaintiff. She maintains that she did not understand that the documents he gave her were for a mortgage and that she would not have signed them if she had known.

Though he led his paramour to believe he was a bachelor, he was actually married with children at the time. In 2004, the pair got married in Jamaica. Mr. Rosenzweig was still married to his first wife. He forged the defendant’s signature on a loan application the next year. The marriage was annulled later after its bigamous nature was uncovered.

This case has been included in business ethics textbooks due to its significance. It has been held up as an example of fraudulent inducement, a type of contract fraud that involves intentional deceit.

Creating a Will in New York

Will pic

Wills
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Attorney Barbara Katsos practices with The Law Offices of Barbara Katsos in New York, NY. In her work there, Dr. Katsos focuses on estate planning, wills, and real estate law.

When a person passes away without a will in New York, his or her estate is distributed based on intestacy laws. This means that the closest relatives, such as a spouse or children, will receive property first. If the deceased had neither, his or her property will go to the next most closely related relative available. If the court cannot find a living relative, the state receives the estate.

Many people prefer to create wills so they can control where their property goes. New York law allows residents to make their own will without the aid of a lawyer, but it is advisable to seek legal assistance, especially if the situation is complicated or if the will is likely to be contested.

To make a valid will in New York, the document must be signed in front of two witnesses. These witnesses must also sign the will. Getting this document notarized is not required, but it can greatly speed up the probate process if the will’s owner and witnesses sign an affidavit with a notary.

Types of Partnerships

 

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos pic

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos
Image: katsosnylaw.com

Barbara Katsos is an accomplished attorney with decades of combined experience in law and school administration. Currently, Ms. Katsos serves as the owner of The Law Offices of Barbara Katsos in New York, NY, where she provides expertise in areas such as corporate law and partnership formation.

A partnership is a business structure in which two or more individuals collaborate and share ownership of a for profit venture. Partners, who share in the profits and losses of the business, have several types of business structures to choose from when establishing the legal entity.

1. Joint venture – this type of partnership is only established for a limited time period, unless extended by the involved parties.

2. General partnership – a partnership form in which all partners have an equal stake in the legal liability and financial success of the business.

3. Limited partnership – a more complex type of partnership that allows specific partners to have a lesser or greater stake in the finances, decision making, or liability of the business. This form typically includes at least one general partner and another partner, known as a silent partner, who has less operational control of the business.