The estate planning process in NY includes making decisions about who will handle your legal and financial affairs after you pass away or if you should become incapacitated. Whether you have a large or small estate, planning for your family’s financial future before you pass away is something that everyone should think about. Advance financial planning ensures that you are in control of making decisions about how you want your assets distributed. By making these important decisions ahead of time, you also save your family emotional stress and added financial costs at a time when they are grieving. Effective estate planning by making a will and/or trust also helps you reduce your estate taxes so that your family inherits more of your assets.
Making Tough Financial and Legal Decisions
Many families with younger children are faced with tough decisions about who to appoint as the guardian of their children or trustee of the family trust should they unexpectedly die or become mentally or physically incapacitated. For instance, you may not want your crazy sister appointed as the guardian of your children. You can avoid this by making a will and/or trust and designating your brother as the guardian of your minor children and trustee of their financial affairs. By doing so, you are easing the emotional trauma of the children and minimizing the disruption of their lives as much as possible. Even if your children are adults, you don’t want them fighting over your estate assets. Making difficult choices in advance of your death or incapacity, gives you the peace of mind knowing that your children will be taken care of in the manner that you want and that your assets will be distributed in the way you desire.
Estate Planning Goals and Benefits
The main goal of NYC estate planning is to transfer your accumulated assets to the people you want by making it easy, quick and cost efficient for them. You want to preserve more of your assets by reducing your estate taxes so that your loved ones can inherit more. Many people have the misperception that estate planning is only for the wealthy and that it is expensive. Actually, this is just the opposite. By avoiding estate planning, it could actually cost your heirs and beneficiaries more money and time by having to hire a New York estate lawyer and filing a probate matter with the New York Surrogate’s Court. The Court may make decisions that may be contrary to what you wanted. For instance, if you pass away in New York without a will (intestate), the laws of succession dictate who inherits your estate.
Estate Planning is a Complex Process. Trust Your Attorney.
The right to succession under New York intestate probate laws are as follows:
- The surviving spouse is entitled to inherit the entire estate when the decedent (person who passes away) has no children
- The surviving spouse is entitled to receive the first $50,000 of the estate assets, and the remaining half is divided among the surviving spouse and decedent’s children
- Parents and siblings
- Extended family such as aunts, uncles and cousins
- When there is no family or heirs, the estate property goes to the State of New York
The New York intestate succession laws may not coincide with your own choices. Having a will and/or trust in place ensures that your wishes are carried out. Estate planning also allows you to make sure that your loved ones are financially secure after you are gone.
Other Effective Estate Planning Solutions in New York
Besides having a will or trust in place, it is important to consider having other legal documents in place to deal with decisions about your health and medical care, medical costs, the sale and disposition of real estate and other assets as part of your estate planning strategies.
These may include the following documents:
- A Health Care Proxy (used to make health care decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so)
- Living Will (similar to a health care proxy and used to express advance health care wishes such as a do not resuscitate request)
- Power of Attorney (legal document appointing an agent to act on your behalf; used in real estate matters and for other legal and financial purposes)
- Purchasing long-term care insurance
- Creation of a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust
Keep in mind that the most important part of the estate planning process is to determine exactly what you need in order to preserve your wealth and carry out your wishes. One of the best ways to do this is to consult with St. Pre Law Firm – a leading probate and estate attorney in New York State.
International, LGBT (GLBT – Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender) Estate Planning
We are recognized for having a lot of experience handling complex estate planning cases for LGBT community. Our gay-friendly lawyers are standing by to provide outstanding service. We have international offices, and would be delighted to work on your international estate planning strategy.
New York Estate Planning Lawyer
For most people, taking about wills, trusts, probate and death are topics that they would rather avoid even though they recognize the need to plan ahead for their family. While all of this may seem overwhelming and exasperating to you at first, talking to an experienced and knowledgeable NY estate planning attorney will help you understand the estate planning process and how important it is to plan ahead.
After speaking with a New York probate and estate lawyer, you will become more educated about the New York state and federal estate and probate laws and how they affect your estate. The attorney will discuss with you the best possibilities to solve your concerns about providing for your family after you are gone. Your attorney will assist you with choosing the most effective estate and tax planning strategies to make sure that your family gets to inherit what you want them to have while receiving and enjoying the maximum tax benefit savings.
When you are ready to make important decisions that affect your accumulated wealth and assets, you want to make sure that you are making the right choices for you and your family. Please contact us today so that we can assist you with your estate planning and drafting all the necessary legal documents that you need to put your estate plan into effect.