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Watching Over New York’s Estates, Powers and Trusts Law

The City Bar’s Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts Committee, chaired by Sharon L. Klein,  continues to work with the State Legislature to ensure that laws pertaining to New York trusts and estates remain up-to-date and effective. The Committee has issued a number of reports in recent years, often in collaboration with other City Bar committees, supporting or proposing legislation that would clarify or expand the law, and has worked closely with the Office of Court Administration and the New York State Bar Association in these efforts.

The 2013 legislative session, which ended on June 21, was a particularly busy one, as the Committee issued seven reports on pending or proposed legislation, and served as an important resource for legislative staff members. An overview of those reports follow.

  • A memo in support of A.6556/S.4851, which deals with the tax treatment of trusts created for surviving spouses who are not U.S. citizens. This report was issued with the Estate and Gift Taxation Committee. The bill passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits delivery to the Governor’s Office.
  • A memo in support of A.6555/S.4852, which would clarify the application of the anti-lapse statute to multi-generational gifts. The bill passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits delivery to the Governor’s Office.
  • A memo in support of A.1185/S.4952, which establishes a formula for determining the interest payable on a delayed testamentary legacy. The bill passed the Assembly.
  • A memo in support of A.6658/S.4600, which relates to partial tax abatements for certain residential real property held in trust. This memo was issued with the Legal Problems of the Aging Committee. The bill passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits delivery to the Governor’s Office.
  • A memo opposing A.855, which would require prior disclosure of income, assets and financial obligations of decedent to enforce a surviving spouse’s waiver of right of election. The bill was introduced into the Assembly Judiciary Committee and did not progress any further.
  • A memo in support of A.7062/S.4272, which relates to settlement of account by a resigning fiduciary. The bill passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits delivery to the Governor’s Office.
  • A memo in support of a State Bar proposal that clarifies the computation of trustee’s commissions following the exercise of a trustee’s power to adjust under the Prudent Investor Act. The proposal has not yet been introduced as a bill.

As bills are delivered to the Governor’s office, the Committee will urge him to act favorably on those it has supported. The Committee’s hard work and expertise is evident as it continues to be a part of so many successful policy initiatives at the state level.

 

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