October 2013           News | Upcoming Programs & CLE | Reports | Get Involved


Tax and Estate Planning Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
Thursday, October 24
6:00 - 9:00 pm

This course will cover the provisions of the new law and its effects on estate planning in various jurisdictions.


How Litigation Can Solve Cases of Financial Elder Abuse
Monday, November 4
6:00 - 9:00 pm

A panel of experienced trust and estates attorneys will discuss litigation-based solutions to correcting financial elder abuse, including contested probate proceedings, discovery and turnover proceedings, and proceedings to recover alleged gifts.


Missed a Program? You Can Still Benefit! CLE Programs' CDs, DVDs and other course
materials can be found on the website.






Trusts & Estates Assistance for Low Income Clients
The City Bar Justice Center's Legal Hotline recently launched the Estate Pro Bono Advisory Panel. The attorneys on the panel are all current or past members of the City Bar’s Committees on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts and Estate and Gift Taxation . The panel's project, the Planning and Estate Law Project (PELP), will conduct several clinics where volunteer attorneys will work with low income clients on their wills, personal planning and other end of life issues. If interested in learning more about the panel, please contact Libby Vazquez.

A recent PELP clinic held at the City Bar. At the far back table is law student Rachel Finkelstein and Mary Croly, Estates and Gift Taxation Committee member, with a client. In the foreground are Glenn Opell (Trusts, Estates and Surrogate's Courts Committee member), paralegal Hong-An Tran and law student Jason La. Across from Mr. Opell is law student Wei-Chen Hung (on the left) and next to her is a client.

Watching Over New York’s Estates, Powers and Trusts Law
The 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 was a particularly busy one - the Committee issued seven reports supporting pending or proposed legislation, and served as an important resource for legislative staff members. An overview of those reports is below:

Supporting 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.
Supporting 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 has been signed by the Governor.
Supporting A.1185/S.4952, which establishes a formula for determining the interest payable on a delayed testamentary legacy. The bill passed the Assembly.
Supporting 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 was signed into law by the Governor.
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.
Supporting 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.
Supporting 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.

In addition to these measures, the legislature passed two bills that will make technical corrections to New York's decanting statute (A.4061/S.3789 and A.7061/S3790-A). The bills await delivery to the Governor for signature.

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.

Committee Involvement--It's Never too Late
Committees are how the City Bar’s work gets done. Working on a committee can give you great experience while opening up a number of career doors, some you may not even anticipate.

A full list of the City Bar committees along with a brief description of each and an application form can be found on the City Bar’s website. As a number of City Bar committees have more applicants than available slots, please consider applying to more than one committee.

Legislative Affairs
Have an interest in or questions about the City Bar’s legislative work? Send an email to legislation@nycbar.org, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.