98 episodes

Earn and grow your money more easily. With Anthony Park.

Join my email list (https://anthonyspark.com/join) to hear about free book giveaways and new book announcements.

Simple Money Wins Anthony Park

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Earn and grow your money more easily. With Anthony Park.

Join my email list (https://anthonyspark.com/join) to hear about free book giveaways and new book announcements.

    How to Close a Probate Estate in New York

    How to Close a Probate Estate in New York

    After many months (maybe years), the estate is finally nearly finished. What are the final steps to close probate? We’ll explain the accounting, receipt and releases, and the reserve.
    What is the estate accounting? The estate accounting are the full books and records of everything that has transpired during the executor’s duty of administering the estate. It accounts for every dollar in and out, every asset collected and sold, and what is left over.
    Sometimes preparing the accounting can take a while because:
    It takes time to get all bank statements, records, and identify missing transactions. The documentation has to be compiled into a court-specified format, so you need a specific type of accountant or lawyer to prepare the accounting. We’re not talking about the guy who prepares your 1040 or the lawyer who drafted your LLC. Unfortunately, the court requires a very niche type of format, and you must account for and balance every penny. The accounting often spans more than 1-2 years with complex transactions (stock sales, real estate closings, business sale, etc.). It is a thick stack of paper! This is the executor’s opportunity to show everything he has done for the estate. This is also the opportunity for the heirs to either object to or accept the accounting.
    Why must heirs sign a receipt, release and refunding agreement? The heirs have the chance to review the accounting, and they can hire their own attorney to help them understand it, if they wish. If there are no objections, the heirs are asked to sign a s receipt, release, and refunding agreement. Here, we’ll discuss the three elements of the agreement.
    Receipt The heir acknowledges receipt of the money. This seems a bit odd, since the heirs sign this BEFORE actually receiving the check. It's understandable for heirs to be nervous, but the only alternative is to hold a closing to coordinate simultaneous exchange and court filing. Otherwise, we deliver the signed receipt and release to the court and await the court’s approval before distributing the money.
    In some contested estates, we have done closings. However, there really shouldn’t be a lack of trust, because the executor is bound to the court. The court will know if the money isn’t distributed as agreed upon. Also, a closing would be hard to do it the heirs do not live close by.
    Release The heirs agree to release the executor from any future and past liability. The heirs agree that the executor did a good enough job, and they won’t sue. This is what the executor really wants; he’s probably ready to put the estate behind him and move on!
    Refunding If any unexpected tax, debt, or bill comes up after the estate is closed, the heir agrees to pay back a portion of his inheritance, pro-rata, to cover that debt. Usually, a refund is needed due to taxes, an unpaid medical bill, or a creditor.
    What is a probate reserve? A probate reserve is a “rainy day fund.” Though the estate is technically closed, and the heirs agreed to refund money if needed, it’s unrealistic to believe that the heirs will actually refund the estate.
    Say an unexpected expense comes up a year later, and every heir is supposed to return $10,000. Most heirs are going to ignore the executor’s calls (yes, there will be some honorable folks).
    For that reason, it’s better to have cash on hand (a reserve) to pay anything that pops up. Even if it seems that all the bills have been paid, it could still take a year or more for something to pop up. The reserve amount depends on how complicated the estate is, the size of the estate, and the risks involved. Usually, it’s good to have at least $10,000. If the reserve is even $1,000 short of the unexpected bill, you’d still have to contact the heirs for the extra money. I’ve seen reserves as high as $100,000 in 7-figure estates.
    The reserve should be held at least a year, but even up to three years to be safe. One reason is that the IRS takes a long time to g

    • 9 min
    How to Find the Will

    How to Find the Will

    How do you find the original will after someone dies? We’ll cover where to search, how to get access, and what happens if you can’t find the original.
    Did the attorney keep the original will? It is common for an attorney to hold the original will. If you have a copy of the will, the lawyer’s name is usually written on it. You can look for the name on the backer, or maybe he was a witness or the notary.
    If you don’t have a copy, check the decedent’s contacts app or rolodex for any attorneys. Don’t overlook the attorneys who don’t do estate planning; you never know what leads you will get. You can also ask the decedent’s CPA or others who may have referred the decedent to an estate planning attorney. Eventually, one of these contacts should lead to the attorney who holds the original will.
    New York petition to search the home
    If you determine that the will must be in the decedent’s home, you need a court order to enter the home. Thankfully, court is pretty quick in issuing this kind of order, unless the will is contested. Typically, it shouldn’t take longer than a couple weeks to get the order.
    When you enter the building, you must be accompanied by a police officer or building management. The reason is that an order to search the home is different than acting with full executor powers. You will be limited to searching for documents such as the will, life insurance policies, funeral arrangements, etc. If you find the documents, you must immediately turn them over to the court.
    The procedure for searching a safe deposit box or a storage unit is substantially the same. To enter a safe deposit box, you’ll be accompanied by the bank officer. It’s better for everyone involved that there are witnesses. You don’t want to be accused of anything.
    What happens if the original of a will is lost? If can prove that the will was not in the decedent’s possession when she passed, then it is possible to ask court to probate the copy. Perhaps the attorney or the CPA says they had it at the time of her passing.
    However, if the decedent must have had the will, the law assumes that the decedent intentionally destroyed/revoked the will. This is the legal assumption, even if it’s not what really happened. In this case, you must move on with administration, which is the process in which the default inheritance laws are applied.
    So, do your best to find the will!
    If you are young and you have a will, it may not help to tell your executor where it is; you could live for many more decades. But, if you are older or terminally ill, it is a good idea to let your executor know where to find your will when you pass.
    To learn more, check out my book, “How to Hire an Executor,” available on Amazon.
    Request your free consultation  
     

    • 6 min
    Help! I Don’t Have a Bitcoin Executor For My Will

    Help! I Don’t Have a Bitcoin Executor For My Will

    Choosing an executor can be very difficult if you feel you don’t have many choices, especially if you own non-traditional assets such as Bitcoin. We previously discussed this topic, generally (https://anthonyspark.com/help-i-dont-have-an-executor-for-my-will/), but what about Bitcoin?
    Whether it’s because your friends and family lack knowledge, or because you don’t want to leave behind stress or drama, there are many reasons why so many Bitcoiners feel they don’t have anyone to name as their executor.
    Your Family and Friends Don’t Understand Bitcoin
    You are afraid that when you pass, they will lose your Bitcoin. They don’t understand custody or any basic security protocols (OPSEC).
    Another worry is that your family and friends will dump it, and immediately turn it into cash. They might fall for the hype that it is bad for the environment or actively believe it’s a “ponzi scheme.”
    Or they may just be completely clueless; never heard of Bitcoin.
    You Don’t Want to Burden Your Bitcoin Friends
    Maybe you have friends in the developer/Bitcoin community who are technically savvy enough, but you’re not close enough to ask them to take on this big job. Appointing an executor requires trust, and executorship is a burdensome job (lots of time and work).
    Besides, Bitcoin may only be a small portion of your entire estate. I’d guess that most technologically advanced folks will get SUPER frustrated by the archaic parts of probate. As we know, probate includes lots of phone calls, faxes, standing in line, all without many apps or elegant solutions. Your friend who is used to cutting edge technology probably won’t want to stand in line to close your bank accounts with a physical signature. They’ll be ripping their hair out and looking for a way to do it online!
    You Don’t Want to Cause Disputes Among Your Family and Friends
    Even if you have family members or friends who can do the job, the rest of your heirs (who don’t understand Bitcoin) may have a million questions, suspicions, and doubts. The heirs’ lack of Bitcoin knowledge, compared to the executor, will breed suspicion of the executor. Your executor will probably be frustrated with the constant questions and doubts.
    When all the heirs and executors know each other and there is distrust, it can ruin relationships, cause resentment, and tear families apart. It’s easier for a completely independent executor to weather that storm.
    You Can’t Find a Suitable Service
    Most technically knowledgeable custody service providers (Casa, Unchained) have great inheritance guidance, but, to my knowledge, they don’t offer executor services. Their advice is to talk to your attorney.
    You can also find someone like myself.
    Or you can look for a bank to serve as an executor. However, banks have high liquid asset requirements. Most Bitcoiners who are self-custodied probably don’t trust the banks anyway...
    Do Any of These Situations Apply to You? If any of these situations apply to you, your best solution may be hiring a professional Bitcoin executor. Some of the benefits we offer:
    We have a fully staffed office available to handle all the various burdensome tasks that come with being an executor. We are focused on and committed to staying up to date on Bitcoin custody, OPSEC, and other need-to-know issues surrounding Bitcoin inheritance. Choosing an independent executor, instead of friends or family, can help prevent drama and disputes, since a professional executor is a neutral and unbiased party. We’re bonded and carry malpractice insurance to cover any wrongdoing as executor. This provides an additional layer of protection you wouldn’t get when working with a loved one, friend, or even a trusted financial planner or accountant. How Do You Appoint a Professional Bitcoin Executor? Name us in your will or trust
    Just tell your estate planning attorney that you appoint Anthony Park as executor. In most cases, using estate planning software

    • 11 min
    What is a Strong Offer on Probate Real Estate?

    What is a Strong Offer on Probate Real Estate?

    Is the highest offer the strongest offer? Not necessarily, especially in probate. Sometimes an heir or a co-executor believes they can get a higher offer. Then, all things being equal, we should take that offer. However, it’s unusual that two offers are identical. There are other factors to take into account besides the price.
    3 Fs of probate homebuyers
    We use the 3 Fs to make sure the buyer is a good fit for a probate real estate sale.
    Financials An all-cash offer is the best offer. There is always the risk of a mortgage getting denied. However, some probate properties are well-suited for a traditional mortgage situation.
    We also want to see a good, healthy down payment, as well as substantial post-closing funds. In other words, the buyer should have uber financial strength.
    Fast We need to sell fast in probate, but we won’t acquiesce to a bad offer just for speed.
    A normal seller who doesn’t like a deal can reject an offer and continue to live in the home. But for an estate, the property is vacant. So, the estate is bleeding cash every month to pay maintenance, utilities, and existing mortgage.
    Also, any vacant property will fall into greater disrepair, especially over the winter. One bad winter can lead to much wear and tear. If the owner is alive and living in the home, they would know about a problem and take care of it. Whereas, in a probate property, the executor will have to keep checking in and find time to deal with issues that arise. Long-sitting vacant properties will have less value due to less upkeep.
    Flexible An executor cannot afford the time to handhold a first-time home buyer. The buyer needs to know what they are doing throughout the process. We’re busy working on the estate side of things. For example, we need to get additional court orders if the executor is bonded. We have to get special approval to sell the property, get tax waivers, get approval from the IRS to close the sale, and all sorts of other issues.
    Now that the buyer has met the 3 Fs, in what circumstance might we accept the lower offer?
    Is this probate homebuyer credible? We often get investors as buyers for probate properties. Usually, it’s too much of a mess for first time home buyers or first-time renovators. We want to weed out those buyers who just watched a YouTube video on how to flip a house and are looking for a probate steal.
    But on the flipside, experienced investors can be a little sneaky trying to get the best deal. There are savvy investors who come in at a pretty aggressive/high offer with the goal of clearing out all the other offers. Then the savvy investor becomes the focus of the negotiation. Once they are the only ones left at the table, they start nickel and diming you down to the price of the next best offer.
    Will the probate home sale actually close? Even if the buyer comes in 15% higher than the next best offer, will their mortgage actually get approved at that amount? Will the co-op or HOA approve the buyer? If we are selling an artist’s loft in Soho, and the buyer is completely unrelated to the fit and culture, they could get rejected. In New York, you can be rejected from buying a co-op for almost any reason except being a protected class under anti-discrimination laws.
    Again, savvy investors may make the highest offer, but when they can’t get it negotiated down to their liking, they will bail. This does not mean that you will get to keep their down payment; they will just litigate. It’s not like a traditional buyer whose eggs are all in that basket. These investors have money to let things sit for a few months while they sue you. We avoid those buyers like the plague, because we do not need probate held up and the property still sitting vacant.
    Sometimes, an offer is too good to be true. We know enough to see the red flags. Naturally, clients want to know why we may not accept the highest offer. We have to explain carefully to our clients that these types of deals will not clo

    • 11 min
    E290 Professional Executor vs Beneficiary Designations for Solo Agers

    E290 Professional Executor vs Beneficiary Designations for Solo Agers

    A few Solo Agers have asked if they can use beneficiary designations instead of a traditional estate plan. We’ll explain some pros and cons of beneficiary designations, and why a professional executor may work better.
    Why traditional estate planning doesn't work for Solo Agers
    Most traditional estate plans are centered around a friend or family acting as your executor to manage probate. Solo Agers often don’t have an assumed family member to serve in this role. Sometimes a Solo Ager has a friend or sibling, but for several reasons, it wouldn’t work out for those loved ones to serve. For example, friends and siblings may be the same age or older than the Solo Ager. There also may not be the same level of trust that one would have with a spouse. Or maybe the relationships are estranged.
    For the reasons above, Solo Agers seek to avoid the need for an executor altogether. It’s not hard to blame them. For example, we had a Solo Ager client (no kids, no family, no close friends) who could not get it through to other attorneys that she had no one to appoint. She became so frustrated with their standard advice that she wanted to avoid appointing an executor altogether.
    Why Solo Agers like the idea of beneficiary designations
    Beneficiary designations go directly to the heirs and “avoid probate.” This is common with life insurance and retirement plans. When someone dies, the beneficiary just fills out and submits claim forms. There is no need to go through probate for that particular asset.
    Sounds easy and great, right? But in most cases, using only beneficiary designations does not work. Sure, it would work for a particular account, but realistically, you are probably not avoiding probate altogether. In order to completely avoid probate, you need a 100% perfect beneficiary designation plan. This means you cannot leave any assets out of your plan (zero assets left in probate, zero lingering debts or taxes). This becomes highly unlikely.
    Any outstanding debts at the time of death need to be paid by the estate representative. Because of this, probate has to happen anyway to figure out pro-rata which accounts need to be reduced to pay your funeral bill or lingering medical bills, unsecured mortgage or credit card bills.
    If all assets go to named beneficiaries, then the IRS goes directly after your beneficiaries. Your heirs will be harassed until the taxes and debts are paid. No one wants that for their loved ones. Additionally, it’s unlikely that someone will volunteer to act as your executor and deal with these issues.
    Why Solo Agers like the idea of a professional executor
    The main attraction is that you appoint someone (experienced) to handle everything. The worry is that it will be hard to find a professional executor and it will also be expensive to hire one.
    Regarding the cost, the executor’s fee is set by state law. This fee is the same whether you hire your 19-year-old unemployed nephew, or the esteemed professional executor. It is more bang for your buck to go with the professional!
    How do you find a professional executor? First, you know that we can fill that role! Second, you can go to a bank and see if they have a trust officer who can serve (even if you don’t have a trust). However, most banks have liquid minimum asset requirements of 2 million or more (meaning this cannot include your home).
    How do you name a person as your executor? You don’t necessarily have to pay an estate attorney to draft your will. While it’s usually a better idea to hire an attorney to draft the will (especially in complex situations), there are plenty of good estate planning software programs you can use yourself.
    If you find a professional executor, interview them before you commit to appointing them. To learn more about executors and estate planning, check out my book, “The Solo Ager Estate Plan.” For a free E-copy, click the link below.
    Free copy of "The Solo Ager Estate Plan"
    Complete this form to

    • 8 min
    Why You Need a Local Executor in New York

    Why You Need a Local Executor in New York

    Most people correctly assume you need a local executor in New York, but they may not know exactly why. Let’s review a few real-world scenarios and reasons why you need an executor local to New York.
    KYC requirements
    KYC stands for “know your customer,” and this applies to banking requirements. Banks take steps to make sure the customer is who they say they are. This helps prevent fraud, terrorism, and money laundering. Often banks require meeting the executor in person to close an account or open the estate account – they have to physically see the authorized person sign the opening and closing documents.
    This may seem hard to believe, since you can open a bank account via text, app, website, etc. in minutes nowadays! However, in probate, an executor represents someone else (the estate or the heirs). Going to the bank in person is usually required and very inconvenient for an executor who lives far away.
    The process also applies to brokerages or any regulated financial institution.
    Selling New York real estate
    First, we’ll talk about the physical logistics such as the cleanout, renovations, and choosing the broker. It may be possible to do these things remotely, but it’s better to be there in person to oversee that nothing is breaking and that the renovations are up to par. Someone should be there to make sure the personal effects are sent to the heirs properly. Similarly, would you buy a home by video, or would you like to see it in person?
    Choosing a broker in person is important to help get a sense of whether they understand the nuisances of the particular unit and type of neighborhood.
    When it comes to New York real estate, there is a good chance you will be dealing with a co-op. We’ve talked at length before about New York co-op rules. Some of the co-ops require, above and beyond New York state law, that the executor be a New York resident. Co-ops are their own little kingdoms with their own set of rules. It is really tough for an outside executor to understand the co-op rules if they are not familiar with New York co-ops.
    Also, real estate closings in New York are not conducted remotely or by FedEx. We still sit around a table for 3 or 4 hours in-person and then sign the papers furiously at the end. Antiquated, yes, but it’s how it’s done.
    Dealing with local bureaucracies
    Until recently, ordering death certificates online didn’t exist or at least didn’t apply to New York City. You had to go down to the Health and Human Services Department and stand in line. To get it done quickly, you better know the lady behind the desk!
    Similarly, while you can technically order court documents online, it is actually easier if you have someone get them in person. For example, to order a certified copy of a file, you need to know the page count, because they charge per page. How do you get the page count unless you go to the courthouse and see the file? Calling and asking how many pages are in the file isn’t going to happen.
    We know that these seem like odd examples, but these are real life situations. That being said, my book, “How to Hire an Executor,” is definitely a good idea if you are thinking of appointing an out-of-town executor.
    Request your free consultation  
     

    • 7 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

cl-bk ,

Very practical podcast

Really great podcast and covers all the big topics that every grown up adult should be thinking about. My wife and I need to get a will ASAP!

RealMomNYC ,

Real answers to real life questions

Learned more from one episode than I could have in 10+ hrs of reading a book on the same topic! Love the straightforward and honest style too. Keep ‘em coming!!

sangkpark ,

Covers topics I feel I SHOULD know

Covers the finance topics that while I may not need or applies to me directly, but it was good to hear them cover some of these topics

Top Podcasts In Business

iHeartPodcasts
NPR
Ramsey Network
Morning Brew
Jocko DEFCOR Network
Andy Frisella #100to0

You Might Also Like

NPR
NPR
The New York Times
NPR
The Ringer