38 THE QUEENS COURIER • QUEENS BUSINESS • JUNE 13, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Elder Law Minute TM
Utilizing Revocable Trusts to Avoid Ancillary Probate
BY RONALD A. FATOULLAH, ESQ.
AND EVA SCHWECHTER, ESQ.
One key goal of estate planning is
avoiding undue delays, costs and hassles
regarding the distribution of one’s
estate. However, one complicating factor
can be the decedent owning property
outside the decedent’s state of domicile.
Property such as vacation homes,
condominiums or time shares located
outside of New York all present a potential
issue if they are owned outright by a
New York domiciliary.
If a New York resident owns property
in New York as well as property in
another state then, at his or her passing,
the heirs and executors or administrators
will need to engage in not one, but two
court proceedings to fully distribute his/
her property. Th ey will need to “probate”
or “administer” the New York property
in New York courts. In addition, they will
need to bring an “ancillary probate” proceeding
in the state other than the state of
residence for all property located outside
of New York State.
For example, if someone lives and
owns property in New York, but owns a
condominium in Florida, probate will be
held in New York and a separate ancillary
probate proceeding must also be
held in Florida. Th is is because Letters
Testamentary issued by a New York
court do not grant an Executor authority
over property located in another state.
In order to gain access to the out of state
property, the heirs or estate representatives
must fi rst obtain legal authority
from the state where such property is
located. Th is involves both a signifi cant
amount of time and court-related fees
that may, with proper planning, otherwise
One eff ective way to properly plan
for effi cient distribution of out of state
property is to create and fund a revocable
living trust. Preparing a revocable
living trust and transferring assets
to that trust ensures that property will
be distributed to one’s chosen benefi ciaries,
pursuant to the terms of such properly
draft ed and executed trust, without
the need for a long, intricate and costly
court proceeding in another state. A
trust is a legal document through which
one person, called a “trustee,” holds legal
title to property for the benefi t of another
person, called a “benefi ciary”. Th e
person who creates the trust is referred
to as the settlor or the “Grantor”. If an
individual establishes a revocable living
trust which terminates when he or
she dies, any property in the trust passes
immediately to the benefi ciaries named
within the trust, saving time and money
for tho se benefi ciaries. A revocable living
trust, as its name implies, is also subject
to change by the Grantor, during the
Grantor’s life, which allows for changes
to one’s estate plan should the need
Th ere are several diff erent reasons for
setting up a revocable living trust. Th e
most common reason is to avoid probate.
However, there are many other reasons
to create a revocable living trust;
each providing a benefi t to the Grantor,
or to the benefi ciaries, as the case may
be. A New York resident with out of
state property can benefi t doubly from
a revocable living trust, as he or she can
avoid probate in two diff erent states by
placing real property from each state
into the revocable trust. To best avoid
probate, and ancillary probate, consult
with a qualifi ed estate planning attorney
regarding a revocable living trust.
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.
Eva Schwechter is an elder law attorney
with the fi rm. Th e 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 Advice Period, a
wealth management fi rm that provides
a continuum of fi nancial and investment
advice for individuals and businesses,
and he can be reached at 424-256-7273.
Are you Emotionally
Do you know someone who can keep
calm in a crisis and treat people with
empathy? Th is person likely has high
Why is high emotional intelligence
important? Th e best managers
inspire confi dence, trust and long-term
growth for their teams. In order to do
that managers need to build strong
relationships, manage diffi cult situations
eff ectively and show resilience
in the face of adversity. Th ey understand
what to say to make people feel
better and they know how to inspire
them to act.
All these traits require high emotional
intelligence. You can improve your emotional
intelligence by focusing on the
four key factors below:
1. Self-Awareness – the ability to be
aware of your emotions as you are having
• Learn mindfulness
track of your
e m o t i o n s
day by writing
in a journal.
• Slow down –
When you experience
emotions, slow down to examine why.
2. Self-Management – the ability to stay
in control of your behaviors and emotions.
Ways to Improve Self-
• Know your triggers – What causes you
to become stressed?
• Pause and refl ect before reacting.
• Practice deep-breathing exercises to
3. Social Awareness – Th e ability to
communicate and interact empathetically
with other people.
Ways to Improve
• Start by thinking about other people’s
viewpoints. Imagine how they may be
• Use active listening skills when people
express their emotions to you.
• Try not to interrupt or talk about your
own feelings during the conversation.
• Watch other people’s body language.
4. Relationship-Management – the
ability to use social skills that help us to
infl uence, inspire, coach and build eff ective
Ways to Improve Relationship-
• Improve communication skills
• Practice active listening
• Learn confl ict resolution skills
• Improve emotional balance
• Create new habits
Remember, no matter what the situation,
you can always choose how you
react to it. High emotional intelligence
can be learned and developed over time.
When you focus on improving these
four key factors you will begin to develop
trust and rapport with people and
increase your emotional intelligence.
Th is will increase your leadership potential
and improve the quality of your relationships.
Mindy Stern, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, ACC
is a trusted HR advisor, career and leadership
coach, author, speaker and president
of AIM Resource Group Inc. Visit
the website at www.aimresourcegroup.
com or contact mstern@aimresourcegroup.
com to learn how to improve your