The New York State legislature has instituted new tax rates for the New York State Mansion Tax as part of the new state budget. While this increase currently affects only the five boroughs of New York City, it is likely, as most increases, to trickle into Suffolk County in the future.

The change is as follows:

For sales of residential real property between $1M - $2M, the rate remains at 1% of the sale price.

For sales between $2M - $3M, the new tax rate has been increased by 0.25% to 1.25%

For sales between $3M - $5M, the new tax rate has been increased by 0.50% to 1.50%

For sales between $5M - $10M, the new tax rate has been increased by 1.25% to 2.25% and so on.

For more information, refer to www.nycblogestate.com/2019/03/changes-to-ny-state-transfer-tax-and.html


As of November 29, 2017, a new section of the Real Property Law mandates all Landlords of real property consisting of three of fewer units to provide conspicuous notice in bold face type as to whether a Certificate of Occupancy is currently valid for the dwelling unit. Owners who provide an actual copy of the CO shall be deemed to have complied. Failure to do so could result in the Lease/Agreement being deemed as VOID and thereby creating liabilities where injury is caused by and within the property violating RPL Section 235-bb. Moreso, the risk magnified by the likelihood that a property insurance carrier would deny coverage for such an incident.

The Suffolk Lawyer - The Official Publication of the SCBA - Vol 32, No. 5 - January 2018

NOVEMBER 16, 2017 Nonresident Estate Taxes

In the estate tax context, a decedent is considered a New York resident if he or she was domiciled in New York at the time of death. Domicile is the place that the decedent intends to make his or her permanent home. For example, a terminally ill, lifelong New Yorker may decide to live with family in Florida, never to return. The individual passes away a few months later, and is now considered a nonresident for estate tax purposes. The gross estate of a nonresident decedent includes certain gifts made while the decedent was a resident of New York including real or tangible personal property having a location in New York or intangible personal property employed in business, trade, or profession carried on in New York. The estate of a nonresident decedent will not owe New York tax if the nonresident's New York gross estate (including the gift addbacks), less deductions, does not exceed the current New York exemption amount, which increases every year, requiring fewer nonresidents having to file a New York estate tax return.

JULY 25, 2017 - Trivia Tuesday

How well do you think you can answer real questions from a New York State Real Estate Broker Exam?

1. Minimum age for a New York State Real Estate Broker's license is
a. 19 b. 18 c. 20 d. 21

2. The form of listing whereby an owner lists property for sale with a number of brokers is known as a(n)
a. Exclusive agency b. Open listing c. Exclusive right to sell d. Net Listing

3. Seller is legally required to reveal to a buyer anything Seller knows about
a. crimes committed on the property b. how much Seller paid for the house c. repairs that have been made d. lead paint hazards on the property

4. A broker may be entitled to a commission in the event that the sale does not close if the problem is caused by the
a. Seller b. Buyer c. Bank d. Title Company

5. A real estate salesperson's compensation is set by
a. the local real estate association b. Department of State, Division of Licensing Services
c. agreement between broker and salesperson d. the cooperating broker in a transaction

6. Ads made by Real Estate Brokers that do not indicate that the advertiser is a broker are
a. legal in New York b. known as blind ads c. acceptable as long as the phone number of the broker appears d. acceptable if the broker is doing business as an individual broker in his own name

7. In which clause of a deed would you find metes and bounds
a. demising b. defeasance c. description b. habendum

8. The most complete type of ownership in real estate is
a. life estate b. fee simple c. estate at will d. qualified fee

9. Which of the following would NOT be considered chattel?
a. a tractor b. a barn c. the draperies d. a trade fixture

10. Any right to or interest in the land interfering with its use or transfer is called an
a. encumbrance b. encroachment c. easement d. appurtenance

1. As of July 1, 2008 to become a broker you must be 20 years old
2. In an Open Listing the Seller allows the property to be shown by many brokers
3. Sellers and Landlords must disclose any knowledge they have of ead paint
4. The commission is usually considered earned when a broker brings a ready, willing and able buyer to the seller, or the seller should accept an offer from the buyer
5. The fee or rate of commission paid to a Real estate Broker is strictly negotiable between the broker and the Seller/Buyer
6. All ads placed by a broker must indicate that the advertiser is a broker. Ads that do not contain this are called blind ads
7. The types of legal descriptions are metes and bounds, block and lot, and monuments
8. Fee Simple absolute provides the most complete form of ownership in real property
9. Barn is real property
10. An encumbrance is anything that lessens the bundle of rights in real property

How did you do? Not so easy, was it?

MARCH 1, 2017

Available for Estate Planning seminar presentations!

Estate Planning is not only for the wealthy. Significant revisions to the federal tax code have created changes to planning techniques affecting assets of all values.

With the current economic climate, you may be wondering if any changes need to be made to your existing estate plan. Or, perhaps you have not yet acted upon developing a plan.

Please allow this office the opportunity to present a free Estate Planning seminar.

Topics covered are: Last Will & Testament, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Living Trust, Probate and Non-Probate Decedents' estates compared and contrasted.

Contact this office to arrange a date and time for our presentation.


SUFFOLK COUNTY MORTGAGE VERIFICATION FEE - Effective January 1, 2017, the Suffolk County Clerk's office will begin to assess a Mortgage Verification fee on all mortgage related documents submitted for recording.

The assessment will be charged at a rate of $300 per document and will affect documents such as, but not limited to Mortgages, Assignments, CEMAs and Satisfaction of Mortgages.

NASSAU COUNTY VERIFICATION LETTER - The Nassau County Legislature has approved an increase to the Tax Map Verification Fee Letter (TMVL) from its current sum of $225 per letter to $355 per letter. The fee for the TMVL is paid to the county assessors office and is required on all instruments filed with the Nassau county Clerks office pertaining to title or land.

The increase will take effect on January 1, 2017 and will be assessed on all documents based on their submission date, therefore the higher rate will be collected for all documents to be submitted for recording from this point forward.

NOVEMBER 10, 2016 POWER OF ATTORNEY - What authority(s) am I really giving?

A general durable power of attorney grants a named individual the authority to act on your behalf with respect to the selected matters designated in the document. The matters to which you can grant authority include real estate, banking, business, claims and litigation, benefits, and tax matters, making this a VERY powerful document.

Did you know there is also a Power of Attorney specific for Minor Children? Although parents are usually a cell phone call away, in the event of an emergency, medical care could be prolonged if you cannot be immediately reached. The document will allow parent(s) to allow full authority or limited authority over their child(ren). If your child(ren) are in the care of another adult during the day, or if you wish to give authority to a relative while you're on vacation, you will need this form.

September 19, 2016 GETTING MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK - Consider these ideas when selling your home.

Paint the Walls
A fresh coat of paint will make your home feel like new again. Stick with neutral tones like grays and whites which let the best features of your home stand out.

Shine the Floors
Engage a handyman with a floor buffer to wax and polish and shine those floors.

Clean up the Bathroom
Replacing missing tiles and re-caulking moldy areas are must-dos. Spruce up with a new bath mat, shower curtain and fresh towels.

Upgrade the Kitchen
Fresh paint and new hardware can transform a dated space. If your budget allows, replace old appliances.

Clear the Clutter
Clear off the coffee table, kitchen counters, window sills and other areas of family photos, plants and knick-knacks. Put away personal effects before a showing.

Do a Deep Cleaning
Wash the windows, vacuum out those exhaust fans, wipe out cabinets, clean the oven and inside the fridge.

Light it Up
Turn on the table lamp, floor lamp and ceiling lamps. A bright room is a showcase.


Why is a title search performed when buying or selling a property? It is the buyer's responsibility to conduct due diligence in ordering a title search when purchasing a property. The information disclosed in a title search is found in public records. Specifically, to whom the property is vested of record, liens on the property or the person(s)/entity selling, recorded covenants, conditions, easements or agreements of record, the legal description (also known as metes and bounds).

Why is this information important? Before you take ownership of the property, you want to be sure it has clear title. All transfers of real property are recorded by deed in the County Clerk's Office. The person(s) selling must establish their right to sell. Mortgages, bankruptcies, judgments, Lis-Pendens, all must be satisfied before the transfer can take place. Documents recorded against the property need to be scrutinized for their effect on the property. The title company will insure the property according to the description of courses and distances outlining the exact property lines.

What is title insurance? There are two types of policies - owner and lender. Just as lenders require fire insurance and other types of insurance coverage to protect their investment, nearly all institutional lenders also require title insurance [a loan policy] to protect their interest in the collateral of loans secured by real estate. Owner policies are meant to protect the financial interest of the owner in real property against loss due to title defects, liens or other matters. It will defend against a lawsuit attacking the title, or reimburse the insured for the actual monetary loss incurred, up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy.


N.Y. State Could Get $40 Million From Man Who Died Without A Will - Forbes 04/28/13

We may not all have $40 Million, but what we DO have is important to us. Items that have sentimental value that we would like to pass down to those we love. You wouldn't want to see it given away by some Court Judge who doesn't know you and doesn't know your family.

Understanding intestate succession law. If you should die without a Will in NYS, a New York Court Judge distributes your property according to a statutory scheme of succession. First to your spouse. If no spouse, to your children. This includes adopted and children born to others (refer to the recent cases of those stepping forward as a child of the late Prince). If no children, to your parents. If no parents, to your siblings. If no surviving heirs - the State gets it all!!

If you haven't done it yet, please call this office for a consulation to get started on this very necessary and important document - Your Will.


What happens when your child turns 18? You throw a party, they graduation from high school and many move on to college. What happens if they need emergency medical attention? Guess what, you don't have any parental rights any more! What if your child can't make medical decisions for themself in the event of an emergency? A Living Will or Advance Directive is assumed part of Estate Planning documents for older people who may be losing their ability to communicate their medical wishes. But for our youngsters, they still rely on the benefit of their parents for decision making. In the unlikely event of an emergency situation, parents need to have those rights available in the form of a Living Will/Advance Directive. Have it on file with the college, have it on file with all local hospitals, have it at home. Let's talk about putting one in place for your child today!