28 THE QUEENS COURIER • QUEENS BUSINESS • APRIL 8, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
New shop off ering arts supplies opens its doors in Ridgewood
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
A new arts shop by the name of Tiny
Arts Supply has opened in Ridgewood,
and owner Vanessa America hopes to
make it accessible for all community
Th e store, located at 58-42A Catalpa
Ave., had its soft opening on April 1.
“I did that so that I could say it was a big
joke if I wasn’t ready,” America laughed,
noting that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
Elder Law Minute TM
Naming a benefi ciary for an IRA or trust is not that simple
BY RONALD A. FATOULLAH, ESQ.
AND STACEY MESHNICK, ESQ.
Clients who have children with disabilities typically
wish to leave their assets in a way that will not cause
the loss of needs-based government benefi ts, such as
Medicaid, during the disabled child’s lifetime, as well
as preventing later recovery claims upon the death of
the disabled individual.
Any fi nancial accounts with a named benefi ciary
bypass a person’s last will and testament and the
named benefi ciary inherits such account by operation
of law. When the intended recipient is a disabled individual,
naming him/her as a benefi ciary on an account
is not prudent because this can result in a loss of benefi
ts. Instead, the client, through the last will and testament,
can leave the asset to a special needs trust
which is created for the benefi t of the disabled person.
For assets such as life insurance, the individual
can either name a special needs trust as a benefi -
ciary or, if there are several benefi ciaries, the person’s
estate can be named as benefi ciary, in which case
the life insurance will be distributed according to the
terms of the will.
A person can name a special needs child as the benefi
ciary on an IRA, but the assets will pass directly to
the child. There are also issues relating to naming an
“estate” as well as naming certain trusts as a benefi -
ciary of a retirement account.
A traditional IRA is comprised of pre-taxed funds. In
order to collect on these taxes, the Internal Revenue
Service (“IRS”) established rules regarding required
minimum distributions – amounts required to
be taken out each year starting at a certain point
(Required Beginning Date-RBD). In 2001, the IRS set
up a uniform lifetime table to calculate the distributions
after one retires as well as time frames for paying
out, depending on when the account holder dies
(whether before or after the RBD).
Whether the IRA account holder died before or after
the RBD, there was always an exception: the stretch-
instead of taking one lump sum, the benefi ciary could
choose to take distributions over his or her lifetime
and pass any remaining funds onto future generations.
Whether the IRA owner’s death occurred before
or after the Required Beginning Date, the payout could
be “stretched” over the life expectancy of a “designated
benefi ciary” (DB), provided such payout started by
December 31st of the year following the year of the
account holder’s death. The new distributions would
be based on the actuarial life expectancy of the designated
Naming an estate as the benefi ciary of a retirement
account is problematic because the regulations require
that the account be paid out in a very short period
of time. An estate is not a designated benefi ciary
because it doesn’t have a life expectancy and therefore
the payout cannot be stretched. In general, it is preferable
to stretch out an IRA for a longer period of time.
Under the recently passed Secure Act, however,
all non-spouse benefi ciaries of IRAs inherited after
December 31, 2019 will have to withdraw all the funds
in the inherited IRA within 10 years from the death
of the original account owner. Fortunately, there are
certain Eligible Designated Benefi ciaries (EDB) who
may still stretch the inherited IRA using the single life
expectancy distribution tables.
Any of the following individuals is considered an
eligible designated benefi ciary (EDB): a surviving
spouse, a disabled or chronically ill individual, an individual
who is not more than 10 years younger than
the IRA owner, or a child of the IRA owner who has
not reached the age of majority. Additionally, certain
trusts named as IRA benefi ciaries are considered EDBs.
While trusts don’t have life expectancies, the IRS
allows for certain trusts to be “looked through” and
therefore allows for trust benefi ciaries to be counted
as designated benefi ciaries for the purpose of stretching.
This “look-through” or “see through” rule applies
to trusts that are considered “accumulation” trusts -
wherein the trustee has the choice either to pay out
or to retain in trust any IRA distributions. Another
trust that can be looked through is a “conduit” trust,
which requires that all distributions from retirement
accounts be paid out immediately to the benefi ciary.
For a conduit trust, only the conduit payee, who is the
benefi ciary receiving those distributions, is counted,
and the payout can always be stretched over that benefi
ciary’s lifetime. Most special needs trusts are subject
to accumulation trust rules because they are typically,
and often must be, discretionary trusts where the trustee
has the choice either to pay or to withhold income
There are also procedural requirements that have to
be met in order for a trust to be a designated benefi -
ciary. For the IRS to “look through” a trust, it must be
irrevocable as of the date of the person’s death. In addition,
the IRA custodian or retirement plan administrator
must receive either a copy of the trust document or a
fi nal list of all benefi ciaries determined as of September
30th of the year following the year of death.
It is important to know that the “stretch” is only
available to the benefi ciary named on the owner’s or
plan participant’s death. It is not available to successor
benefi ciaries who receive the retirement account after
the initial benefi ciary’s death. In other words, the typical
married couple who leaves everything to each
other and only upon death to the trust, should make
sure that the survivor remembers to “roll over” retirement
accounts to the survivor’s own IRA and to name
the trust as the new primary benefi ciary. Further, the
trust will only be exempt from the 10 year rule if the
individual with special needs is the only benefi ciary of
the trust during his or her life. If the trust also permits
distributions to a spouse or children, it won’t qualify
and the IRA will have to be completely withdrawn
within 10 years. The best solution may be to establish
a see-through accumulation trust for the special needs
relative, and set up a separate trust for other heirs.
Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the founder of Ronald
Fatoullah & Associates, a law fi rm that concentrates in
elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships,
estate administration, trusts, wills, and real
estate. Stacey Meshnick, Esq. is a senior staff attorney
at the fi rm who has chaired the fi rm’s Medicaid
department for over 15 years. The law fi rm can be
reached at 718-261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll free at
1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES. Mr. Fatoullah is
also a partner with Brightside Advisors, a wealth management
fi rm with offi ces in New York and Los Angeles.
This summary is not legal advice and does not create
any attorney-client relationship. This summary does
not provide a defi nitive legal opinion for any factual situation.
Before the fi rm can provide legal advice or opinion
to any person or entity, the specifi c facts at issue
must be reviewed by the fi rm. Before an attorney-client
relationship is formed, the fi rm must have a signed
engagement letter with a client setting forth the Firm’s
scope and terms of representation.
and the temporary yet impactful
ship blockage at the Suez Canal, the major
trade route, could cause some delays to
Delays or not — Tiny Arts Supply is
stocked with a variety of items in diff erent
mediums and price points, so that
anyone, whether they’re children or fi ne
artists, will be able to fi nd something for
Th e store will also have a free section,
where people can donate new or used
supplies and take any they see there too.
“Th is will encourage people to try different
mediums, so if you’ve never used
a watercolor palette and there’s one
there, you can take it, or if you really
want to try pastels, you can take it,”
And if customers
can’t fi nd what
they’re looking for,
America can help
them source the item
or point them to one of
the neighborhood hardware
stores or dollar stores that may
have it immediately available.
“I really wanted to open a
business that would enhance
the neighborhood and not
take away from anyone’s business,”
America said, adding
that fellow business owners
have been a great help as she
embarks on her fi rst business.
America, who’s lived in
Ridgewood for 12 years, felt
the neighborhood was in need
of a dedicated arts supply store.
Th e idea came about when a
friend and fellow artist said she
walked all the way to
Rego Park to shop at
Michael’s for watercolors
“She is a personal trainer
so she does like to walk,
but it’s just absurd!” America
America used to work as
a bartender at several diff erent
locations but lost her job
last year due to the pandemic.
Following months of full-time
volunteer work at local food
pantries and organizations like
the Hungry Monk Rescue Truck,
she decided it was time to make
the idea a reality.
“It’s a huge risk,” America said,
adding that she’ll be a one-woman
show as she launches the business.
“I’m confi dent that this will do well.
I have the tenacity and the passion
to make this work.”
America also hopes to host free workshops
and other community events once
she’s settled in.
While the shop’s name is indicative of
its intimate space, it’s also a tribute to an
artist friend, Jane Sandlin, who passed
away several years ago. America said Jane,
who she grew up with in Ohio, remains a
source of inspiration.
“She called everyone ‘tiny’ when she
would call them cute,” America said.
“Instead of using the word ‘cute’ she
would say, ‘You’re so tiny.’”
Jane had multiple sclerosis, and
although she endured strokes and used a
wheelchair, she didn’t let it stop her from
creating art and community.
“During her fi rst stroke, she lost the
ability to use her hands, so she taught
herself how to draw with her mouth,”
America remembered. “She was such a
powerhouse; nothing could stop her. She
lived her life to the fullest, which is so
cool. Th at’s what I want to do with this
Tiny Arts Supply will be open Th ursday
through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
For more information, fi nd the store on
Photo courtesy of Vanessa America
Vanessa America is
the owner of newly
opened Tiny Arts
Supply in Ridgewood.