Articles Tagged with fishkill estate planning attorney

It is not a common situation but it does happen. After you pass, your will is entered into probate and your beneficiaries are notified of your bequests but there is a problem: they do not want it. They refuse to take ownership of the property you have left them and in doing so have thrown a wrench in your well laid estate plan.

No Claim to the Bequest

When a beneficiary turns down a bequest this is known legally as a “disclaimer.” There is no requirement under a law that a person who is left assets or property under a will must take it. You cannot force property onto someone else. If a person disclaims a bequest, the person is treated as if they had predeceased the testator and the property will pass onto another beneficiary.


        With tax day over and the need to collect and forward any number of financial and tax documents to the government and with the coming of spring, it is time to turn to spring cleaning.  The question should be asked, what paperwork can I throw out, should I throw out and what paperwork should I keep.  To be accurate, you should never throw out any financial paperwork, you should shred or incinerate such documents.  It is inevitable that in any such endeavor, you will come across documents that matter for purposes of your estate planning, such as wills, trusts and the various financial documents that speak to your estate planning.  In any event, you should rely on a system to help you collate these important documents for future use.  

You should keep certain original documents in an easily accessible but safe place, such as a fire proof safe or perhaps even a safety deposit box.  Things such as birth certificates or adoption paperwork, licenses and passports, marriage certificates, judgments of divorce, military discharge papers and social security cards.  Other documents do not necessarily need to be kept as an original, they should be regularly review, at least bi-annually, if not more often.  Documents such as a will, trust or other testamentary documentation will be kept by your attorney or law firm, but it still always best to maintain a copy or, better still, several copies on hand.


This blog explored the generic topic of intellectual property in estate planning in the recent past, which is worth reading for a discussion on the larger topic. Estate planning for the artist or even the art collector is certainly related but worthy of its own discussion. With respect to intellectual property, copyrights are provided to protect in an original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, which can be replicated, perceived or communicated. To put that in plain english, the law protects those an artist who creates new forms of expression in established media, whether it be paintings, sculpture (including welded sculptures), photography, writing literature, screenplays or plays, music and even choreography. Artists such as Christo certainly make classification of art more difficult, but that is probably the point of the art. What happens, however, when an artist or art collector passes away and they have a substantial amount of artwork. Transferring a recording of a song is not the same as transferring the copyright to that song. Transfer of intellectual property must be in writing.


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