Estate Taxes in New York

 

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Law Offices of Barbara H. Katsos
Image: katsosnylaw.com

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

 

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos pic

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos
Image: katsosnylaw.com

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
Image: katsosnylaw.com

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.

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

 

Choosing a Guardian pic

Choosing a Guardian
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For more than two decades, Barbara Katsos has led the Law Offices of Barbara H. Katsos, PC, in New York, NY, as owner. In this capacity, she oversees all daily operations of the firm and works directly with clients dealing with real estate matters as well as estate planning needs such as guardianship.

Many parents struggle with choosing a guardian for their children. Unfortunately, if you do not nominate a guardian, the responsibility of deciding falls to the courts. Below are a few things to consider to help you choose the right guardian for your child or children:

Define your perfect parent. Try forgetting about specific people and focus on creating your idea of a perfect parent. Define the moral values, characteristics, and spirituality of your ideal parent, and lay out the practical skills they should possess. After you’ve defined your perfect parent, compare your options to this ideal to eliminate candidates who do not meet your desired qualities.

Think outside of family. It’s normal to think about having a sibling or parent become the guardian of your child, but immediate family is not the only option available. You can also consider your close friends. Your friends may share more similarities with you than your family does and, thus, be a more ideal choice.

Focus on love. Regardless of whether you choose a family member or friend, you want to make sure your child will be well-loved. Make sure your child will not be second place if your chosen guardian has children of their own and ensure your desired guardian has enough time to devote to raising a child. Further, if your son or daughter is already comfortable with someone, it may be easier for them to feel loved by a guardian.

How Living Trusts Differ From a Will

Will pic

Wills
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At the Law Offices of Barbara H. Katsos, PC, in New York, NY, Barbara Katsos provides estate planning services including estate administration, probate proceedings, and estate taxes. She also creates wills and living trusts for her clients.

A living trust allows the grantor to state his or her wishes as to who will receive his or her assets in the event of death or incapacitation. Whereas a will is only effective after a person passes away and can only be enforced after going through probate, a living trust bypasses probate and allows the designated successor trustee to carry out the directions of the trust immediately in the event the grantor dies or becomes incapacitated.

Living trusts are set up as either a revocable or irrevocable trust. A revocable living trust allows the grantor to change the trust whenever he or she wants, while an irrevocable trust, once created, cannot be changed.

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.