Your father should have an estate planning attorney review his current documents. If Congress does not act, the estate tax on the federal level is set to begin for assets exceeding $1 million dollars at year's end. There is no indexing for inflation. The effective tax rate will equal 85.25%. To put it in different terms, beneficiaries can only expect to inherit about 15 cents on the dollar of every dollar that passes through an estate above the exemption amount.
I would consult with a knowledgeable elder law attorney immediately in order to create a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust. Under the Medicaid Rules, there is a 5 year (60 month) look-back period for the transfer of assets upon application for nursing home care. This means that any effective planning must be aged five (5) years before your assets are fully protected.
Additionally, there is "spousal refusal" whereby an individual can apply for Medicaid and his/her spouse can refuse to...
Under New York law, the trust will be forced to "end" under the Rule Against Perpetuities expiration period - which is basically 21 years after the death of the last grandchild of the decedent. Putting so much "Dead Hand" control on property may be unwise. You never know what will happen in 10 years, let alone potentially 100 years. The Rule Against Perpetuities was the backdrop of the recent George Clooney movie "The Descendants." The family help land in Hawaii in a trust set up by their...
First are funeral expenses. Next are costs of administration including executor's commissions. Then any taxes dues are paid staring with federal then state then local. Thereafter, other debts of the estate are paid. Then if anything is left, that goes to the beneficiaries. Go see a trusts and estate lawyer.
You will need an estate plan irrespective of what you choose. You should seek an estate planning attorney because the best answer I can give you is "it depends." I do a full estate planning questionnaire with my clients which asks well over 200 questions. I just can't give you an answer on these facts.
Real Property in New York passes by heirship unless there is a will to the contrary. You should find out if there is a will and consult an attorney. Unless you were specifically devised the house, it is likely that you do not have an interest, as your father would have the interest under the laws of intestacy.
Hire a probate attorney immediately. The will is often not dispositive as to who receives certain property like bank accounts (which have their own beneficiary designations). Additionally, the will may be challengeable in a probate proceeding.