This is not my first article about the current failure of our Congress to act on the replacement of the estate tax which expired at the end of last year and I am certainly not the only one following this oddity. All of a sudden it has dawned on me that maybe the lack of Congressional action is not so much a failure of Congress to get its act together as it may be a focused plan to back into what would become a massive tax increase b y doing nothing.Continue Reading What’s Going On Here? Looks Like A Back-Door Tax Increase!

In December 2008, Surrogate – elect Nora Anderson was indicted for allegedly failing to properly report at least a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions. While Ms. Anderson contended that this money came from her own personal funds, prosecutors have alleged that the true source of the contributions was Seth Rubinstein, her eighty two year old law partner and mentor. According to theNew York Times, this case raises some unusual questions about what happens when funds claimed as gifts are utilized in a campaign.Continue Reading Criminal Trial Of Manhattan Surrogate Begins

In a special bulletin, the New York Times has just reported that Anthony D Marshall, son of the late socialite Brooke Astor has been sentenced to prison by a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Marshall was sentenced to one to three years in state prison by Justice A. Kirke Bartley Jr. after being

As reported today by fellow lawblogger Karen Meckstroth in her Bay Area Wills, Trusts And Probate Report Blog  two Representatives have filed different bills to amend the Internal Revenue Code and to restore the estate tax which would otherwise terminate for one year in 2010. The bills proposed by Rep. Berkley (D.NY) and Rep. Schrader (D-OR) may each be viewed by clicking on the link provided by Ms. Meckstroth in her article. Both provide for an increase in the basic estate tax exemption to 5 million dollars. and for a reduction in the maximum estate tax and gift rate.Continue Reading New Bills To Restore The Estate Tax In The Congressional Hopper

More than forty years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr., his children have resolved a bitter dispute over his multi million dollar estate. As reported by Bruce Carton in an article posted on Legal Blog Watch today, the lawsuits and countersuits stemming from charges of misuse of estate funds and seeking control

The New York Times has just reported that a Westchester County Jury has convicted Anthony D. Marshall, 85 year old son of the late socialite Brooke Astor of fourteen counts of stealing from his mother’s estate. Also convicted of forgery was Francis X Morrissey, former attorney of Ms. Astor.  The jury returned its verdicts after twelve days of deliberations and after things had reached the point where it appeared that it may have reached an impasse which would have resulted in a mistrial.Continue Reading Jury Convicts Brooke Astor’s Son and Her Former Lawyer For Plundering Her Estate

In a surprise move, the prosecution in the Brooke Astor trial rested its case, according to the New York Times. The trial has now been front page news in New York for three months.  The trial of  Ms. Astor’s son Anthony Marshall and his attorney Francis X Morrissey for allegedly forging a codicil to her will has had countless  twists and turns. Marshall and Morrissey are facing a total of 22 charges of conspiracy, scheming to defraud, larceny and forgery. This is enough to keep a battalion of lawyers busy at a cost of over $100,000 per week. Continue Reading After Three Months, The Brooke Astor Trial Is Becoming –Dare We Say?– Boring

Recently, Long Island was rocked by news of the tragic and shocking murder of  Betty Ann Parente and her two daughters by her husband, Garden City lawyer William Parente who then took his own life in a Maryland hotel. Barely has the community digested the enormity of this crime and the loss of a popular