how estate planning can help minimize financial elder abuse- long island estate lawyers
What is Financial Elder Abuse?Financial Elder Abuse is the exploitation of a senior citizen’s finances through deprivation, misusage, or deceit, just to name a few. Misusing Power of Attorney for one’s own personal financial gain is another example. Any unlawful use of an elder’s financial resources for personal gain is considered Financial Elder Abuse.What You Need to KnowSadly, the statistics are mind-boggling. According to figures from the National Council on Aging approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60 and over has experienced some form of elder abuse. The site continues that some estimates range as high as 5 million elders are abused in some form annually. Senior citizens have incurred 36.5 billion dollars per year in financial loss due to financial abuse.Reportedly, scams that target seniors are rapidly increasing. Who are the perpetrators behind most of the financial elder abuse cases? It seems some of the perpetrators are family members while in other cases seniors fall prey to scam artists.The ImpactAccording to The National Center on Elder Abuse, financial exploitation causes an increase in loss for the elder, their families, as well as businesses and government funded programs.Research is also showing that elders with cognitive impairment suffer at a higher rate than those without those disabilities. There is also a financial impact within the legal system due to the cost of investigation and other legal proceedings in connection with Financial Elder Abuse.Decreasing the Risk: Protecting Your AssetsOne of the main purposes of planning your estate is to financially protect yourself and your loved ones. While no one wants to plan for the worst-case scenario, not planning for your financial future can have devastating effects. Creating a living will and assigning a power of attorney to someone you trust are two ways to communicate your wishes clearly and make financial decisions now in order to have clarity later.Appointing someone you trust with your directives can reduce the risk of financial elder abuse. Reviewing your will from time to time or updating it periodically can help to avoid costly issues in the future, as well.The Benefits of Estate Planning: Protecting you and your familySafeguarding your businessDrafting a power of attorney well in advance while you as grantor or agent have mental clarity can provide an extra safety measurePlanning for your own future by addressing health care and financial issues while you are healthy and cognitive prevents crises arising later should you become unable to advocate on your own behalfFor more information on how to safeguard yourself or your loved one, contact one of our highly reputable and knowledge Estate Law attorneys.
divorce & relocation - long island divorce lawyers
Whether from first-hand experience or through the media, most are familiar with the common areas of divorce such as child support and custody. While working toward managing these difficult issues, divorcing couples may overlook lesser-known issues which can arise in the future. It is beneficial for all parties involved to gain knowledge in these areas before they arise. Relocation of the custodial parent is one of these important areas.Relocation – While in the process of divorce, emotions run high for most typical divorces, and the concept of relocation doesn’t come up because it is not prevalent in the moment. However, sometimes a custodial parent needs to relocate for career purposes. In other instances, the custodial parent feels it is in the best interest of the children for economic and/or educational purposes to relocate. Having this conversation early on can mean the difference between appearing back in court or not.With divorce comes financial change and stress. Whereas two people previously were sharing the financial responsibilities, now each party is responsible for their own finances. Relocating is sometimes the only alternative for a custodial parent and their children to thrive. However, under the laws in New York, one parent cannot simply up and relocate with their children without the consent of the other parent. If the non-custodial parent objects, the custodial parent cannot relocate without the Court’s approval.FactorsIn relocation, the custodial parent must present evidence that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. The court decides what is in the best interests of the child based on what is known as Tropea factors; Tropea v. Tropea, 87 N.Y. 2d 727 (1996)Since there are varying factors, a review of each individual case is necessary; however, the premise is based on the standard of what is in the best interests of the child. There are several factors to consider, but not limited to, in evaluating a custodial parent’s request to relocate:Both the custodial and non-custodial parents reasoning for requesting or opposing of the relocationThe relationship between the child and the custodial and non-custodial parentThe effect of the move on maintaining the quantity and quality of the child’s future relationship with the noncustodial parentThe benefit on the child’s life economically, emotionally, and educationally by relocatingSuitable visitation rights of the non-custodial parentThe impact on extended family relationshipsIf a custodial parent is establishing a new family unit and the Court feels it is in the best interest of the child to relocate, the Court may allow the move. On the other hand, if the Court feels that transferring custody to the non-custodial parent is in the best interest of the child, the Court may rule in favor of a custody change. Again, each case is unique unto itself and it all ultimately comes down to the facts, circumstances, and evidence supporting what is in the best interest of the child.If you are divorcing and relocation is possible in your future or if you want to safeguard your child’s best interests in the future, make sure you get the most current information available to you by contacting one of our highly experienced attorneys. We can help you to ensure your child’s best interests are met.
New Tax Laws Effecting Divorce - Long Island Divorce Lawyers
In December of 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts. Along with this piece of legislation, went the passing of a tax code which will eliminate tax deductions for individuals who pay alimony. The new law goes into effect beginning on January 1st, 2019. For any couple divorcing on or after the January 1st 2019 date, the payer will no longer be able to deduct alimony from their tax returns. Continue reading to find out how will this impact divorcing couples: For over 75 years, the payer of alimony had the ability to deduct that alimony from their tax returns. In addition, the payee paid income tax on the amount of alimony received. That will change as of January 1st, 2019 where payers will not be able to deduct the alimony and the payee will not have to pay taxes on same. While divorce is difficult enough in its current state when it comes to financial issues, this new tax law makes it even more daunting. Here are some of the potential financial implications of the new law:The Financial ImpactPreviously, offering the benefit of a tax deduction for the payer provided more legroom for bargaining in this area. For example, a husband may have been more inclined to agree to higher alimony due to the ability to claim it as a deduction on his taxes. With this new law, the payer will more than likely be inclined to fight harder when it comes to alimony.There is also a potential impact for women who earn less than men. If men are still the higher wage earners and the ones who need to pay alimony, this will make negotiations more difficult. This has the potential to negatively impact women and the children who reside with them full time.According to a Press Release from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released on January 17, 2018: USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF WAGE AND SALARY WORKERS FOURTH QUARTER 2017 “Highlights from the fourth-quarter data:• Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $857 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Women had median weekly earnings of $769, or 81.3 percent of the $946 median for men. (See table 2.) • The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 80.5 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black women (96.0 percent), Asian women (72.3 percent), and Hispanic women (88.4 percent). (See table 2.)”For the rest of the Press Release, click HERE.Additionally, the systems and processes in place to calculate alimony may prove ineffective. Currently, a higher percentage of men pay alimony; without the benefit of the tax break, men can argue to minimize those payments. It seems women will be the most negatively impacted since they will be in the firing line to receive less.Divorce RatesAccording to an article in “The Daily News” couples marrying in their mid-30s divorce at a higher rate than younger people. That may change this year with the implementation of the new tax law. Couples contemplating divorce may not want to wait. There may be a mad rush to the finish line for couples of all ages to divorce before that January 1st, 2019 date.The IncentiveIt is difficult enough to maintain the expenses of raising a family with two incomes not to mention the negative impact divorcing can have on a couple’s finances. Some may view divorcing sooner rather than later as an incentive due to the new tax law plan. For those close to settlement, the looming deadline of January 1st, 2019 might be all the incentive they need to speed the process up.If you are considering divorcing and need assistance understanding the new tax laws and its implications, contact one of our expert Long Island Divorce Law Attorneys to schedule a consultation.
Recent Divorce Trends - Long Island Divorce Lawyers
According to the American Psychological Association, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce; subsequent marriage divorce rates are even higher. While divorce is never an easy part of life, certain aspects of divorce have changed with new trends being observed. Here are some trending topics around the subject of divorce:Grey DivorceA new trend labeled “Grey Divorce” , a trend in which couples over 50 are getting divorced, is on the rise. There are thought to be many factors contributing to older couples divorcing. Mid-life couples may be more likely to divorce after staying together long enough for their children to emancipate. Divorce may have been unheard of in prior generations, yet it is more socially acceptable today. Additionally, there are a vast number of older couples, also known as the “baby boomer” generation. The numbers themselves may be high enough to contribute to a higher rate of older couples divorcing.Women initiating divorce A majority of divorces are initiated by women. Women being more independent in the form of education and career may be contributing factors for women initiating divorce proceedings. Social status may be another contributing factor. Whereas a generation ago divorce was frowned upon, women today are not looked down upon simply because they are divorced. Divorce is simply more accepted in today’s society.Education and age also seem to play a part in divorce trends. Couples who marry at a younger age (late teens/early twenties) have a higher chance of divorcing. It seems that couples with more education and stronger careers divorce less.Divorce MediationIn a traditional divorce, each individual would hire their own attorney to fight on their behalf. However, with divorce mediation, a highly trained mediator will guide the couple through the process together. Issues relating to the divorce are discussed in an open and more informal setting. The mediator is a neutral third party and can assist in facilitating the process, so the couple may negotiate fair and equitable resolutions to their issues. The mediator is a highly-skilled, impartial party who supports couples to move toward an agreement that best serves them and the couple’s children.What are the benefits of mediation? Mediation can save time, energy, and money but more importantly, give the couple the opportunity to come to an agreement with dignity. Mutual respect before the divorce can have a trickle-down impact as to how the couple handles their new life post-divorce.If you are going through a divorce, contact our team of experienced Divorce Lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP. With over 25 years experience, rest assured that our team will provide the most expert legal counsel available. Give us a call at (631) 928-8000 to schedule a consultation.
Financial Disclosure in Divorce - Long Island Divorce Lawyers
Financial Disclosure in Divorce - What You Need to Know