Trusts and Estates

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Conflict in Non-Profits – How Mediation Can Help

Sasha Herzig on February 24, 2014

Not only do many of us rely on non-profits as a source of income, we all also rely on the services non-profits provide us daily. Whether it’s low-cost medical services, the prevention of animal cruelty, or the promotion of public art, it is clear that we would not be able to survive without the help and hard work of non-profits. Thus, when non-profits suffer from internal conflict, so do we. As non-profits are service driven rather than profit driven, there is often the unfair assumption that non-profits do not suffer from internal conflict in the same ways that for-profits do. Read More…

How to Get the Most Out of Your Fundraising Professional

Sasha Herzig on February 24, 2014

The bread and butter of many non-profit organizations comes from fundraising events and campaigns. With all the daily tasks involved in running a successful charity, it’s no wonder that many organizations choose to seek outside help when planning fundraisers. So let’s talk about what goes into professional fundraising. Professional Fundraiser vs. Fundraising Counsel A professional fundraiser is someone who is compensated to work with a charitable organization in planning, managing, conducting or otherwise assisting the organization with solicitations for charitable donations. This includes employing another person to assist with charitable solicitations. A Professional Fundraiser may directly solicit on behalf of Read More…

Don’t Wait for Federal Tax Exempt Status – Start Fundraising Today!

Sasha Herzig on February 10, 2014

Are you one of the many organizations who have filed for Federal tax exempt status but have not heard back from the IRS yet? Are you waiting on your tax-exempt status to receive tax deductible donations from sponsors? Do funders (including foundations and government agencies) choose not to donate to your projects because you’re not yet affiliated with a non-profit organization? Waiting on this status could be slowing the growth of your organization. Well, wait no longer – organizations who do not hold Federal tax-exempt status may still receive tax deductible donations through fiscal sponsorship. What is fiscal sponsorship? It’s Read More…

Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs Children

Volkova Law Group PLLC on January 22, 2014

As parents we all wish to be there for our child. Always. And when you have a child with special needs, that desire becomes ever greater. One way to relieve some of that inevitable pressure about the future is to plan as much as you can. But with so many things to plan for, you can get lost in the jumble of details. Proper estate planning helps parents lessen some of their anxiety about the future by ensuring their child will have some financial security. In this article, I will explain some of the various ways a family with a Read More…

An Incorporation Dilemma: Delaware vs New York

Elena Volkova on December 18, 2013

I got a call from someone the other day. A start-up with a brilliant idea behind the business. New York is where they live and conduct business… But they wanted to incorporate in Delaware. Now, me being the incorporation-loving lawyer I am, I had some strong opinions about this. (Basically, I wanted to talk them out of it.) See, for most small businesses who do business in New York, there is nothing to gain by having a Delaware presence. In fact, incorporating in Delaware means an extra set of expenses and regulatory compliance requirements. But I hear business owners asking Read More…

Why Every Start Up Should Have a “Work for Hire” Agreement

Sasha Herzig on December 4, 2013

“Work for hire” agreements lay out who owns the copyright to the work created by a freelancer, for the start up’s use. When copyright law sides with the author… Copyright law protects the author of any work created in a fixed form. This means work that is tangible (rather than merely an idea), such as poetry, photography and computer software. Basically, only the author – or anyone who receives rights from the author – may use their work for their own purposes. The author of a work protected by copyright retains the right to make copies, to prepare derivative works, Read More…

How Do I Know If I Need A Trust?

Volkova Law Group PLLC on November 19, 2013

A trust is not for everyone – but it is an important planning tool, so it makes sense to take some time to understand if it’s right for your family. There are many myths about what a trust is and what its purpose is. A majority of the people who come to us for a consultation believe they need some sort of trust as part of their estate plan. However, once we start to talk about their goals, it often becomes clear that the kind of trust planning they have in mind is not the right fit for them. To Read More…

Don’t Do It Yourself: Incorporation

Elena Volkova on October 31, 2013

As we are coming up on our 2nd anniversary as a law firm, I’ve looked back at some of the most interesting issues that we’ve encountered. My biggest discovery (and confession)? I completely flip-flopped on the incorporation issue. When we started out, I told Rosanna that I did not think it was worth it for our clients to pay us to incorporate them. With the abundance of online filing providers and an internet full of incorporation advice, I thought that there was absolutely no room for our services. In the last two years, I realized that I was wrong. I Read More…

What Gives More Protection: An LLC or a Regular Corporation?

Volkova Law Group PLLC on October 18, 2013

As a business lawyer, I get this question a lot: Is it true that an LLC gives its owners less protection than a regular corporation? My answer is: No, it is not true. But the devil is in the details. First of all, let’s define what we mean by “protection.” When people form a corporate entity, they do it primarily to protect their personal assets (like their savings and personal property) against business debts and liabilities. This protection is called “limited liability.” It is not absolute, meaning, in some circumstances, an owner of the business entity may be personally responsible Read More…

Your Child, Your Money: Is Life Insurance Enough?

Volkova Law Group PLLC on October 10, 2013

Being a parent brings lots of responsibilities. One item that most parents do fairly quickly after having children is getting life insurance. It gives us peace of mind to sleep at night – and that’s important because we all know sleep is a precious commodity as a parent! Unfortunately, most of us still leave one very important base uncovered… The testamentary trust. This is a trust in your Will that takes care of the actual distribution of your estate to your minor children – which means how and when your child will receive those assets. When you get life insurance, Read More…

Should I Incorporate My Business?

Elena Volkova on September 9, 2013

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by entrepreneurs and local business owners is, “Do I need to incorporate my business?” In most cases, the answer is yes. Here’s why… Incorporating creates a wall between your personal property and your business assets. Your private/personal assets include your savings, investments, and home and other real estate. Your business assets include your cash on hand, receivables, inventory, and other items of value that belong to the company. Known as “limited liability,” this wall shields your private assets from any claims relating to the company. If you are not incorporated… Business creditors Read More…

A Will Usually Isn’t Enough

Brian Wood on September 3, 2013

You should feel comfortable knowing your assets will go to the right people. Having a will is an incredibly important step in ensuring that happens. But it is critical to remember that having a will is not the only step. Even if you have a will, many assets may pass to your loved ones based on documents and information not contained in your will. These assets are commonly referred to as non-probate assets and some examples include: 401(k)s, Individual Retirement Arrangements (“IRAs”), 529 Plans, Payable on Death (POD) accounts, joint bank accounts and life-insurance policies. Here are some tips to Read More…

Tax Abatement for New York Co-op’s and Condos Held in Trust

Brian Wood and Zachary Grizotsky on September 3, 2013

For the last 17 years, New York residential property owners have been taking advantage of a tax abatement provision applicable to all co-op’s and condominiums. New legislation passed on January 2013 amended that tax abatement, limiting its availability to owners who use their co-op or condo as their primary residence. Unfortunately, this legislation terminated the abatement for people who transferred ownership of their primary residence into a trust. The good news is that on July 3, 2013, the Governor signed into law a new bill allowing owners to receive the tax abatement if they maintain a co-op or condo as Read More…

You Are Not Too Young to Plan Ahead

Elena Volkova on June 25, 2013

Recently, I presented two workshops: one on estate planning and another on choosing the right legal structure for your business. Different as these topics may seem, they are quite important for any small business owner, because estate planning provides for business continuity and business planning facilitates estate administration. Here are a few practical take-away points from our estate planning workshop: Even young and single people could benefit from having a simple estate plan in place. Having your documents prepared gives you dignity and peace of mind. Start with simple documents: Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and a Living Will; Read More…

New York City Recipients of Community-Based Long Term Care Begin Transition to Managed Long Term Care

Volkova Law Group PLLC on June 21, 2013

NYSBA Elder and Special Needs Law Journal | Spring 2013 | Vol. 23 | No. 2 The Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), commissioned by Governor Cuomo by executive order on January 5, 2011, has already drastically changed the landscape of New York’s Medicaid program by expanding the enrollment to previously exempt populations. This fall, after the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a “waiver,” dual eligible Medicare/Medicaid consumers in New York who receive long term care in the community for more than 120 days became another segment of the population that is being transitioned into managed care plans. Read More…

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