There are basic things to understand about estate planning. To get in touch with an estate planning attorney around Brooklyn 11235, kindly call our office today.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is a legal and strategic planning towards the management of one’s estate (assets, personal and financial affairs) during life and the efficient disposal of those assets after death, while mitigating risks, expenses and complications.
Estate laws govern estate planning and these laws vary from state to state. The estate laws of New York ultimately would influence your decisions throughout your planning process. Knowledge of the laws is therefore required, hence the need for an estate planning attorney.
Can I carry out DIY estate planning or must I hire an attorney?
If your estate is a small one with simple assets, then you may create a simple will yourself to transfer those assets to whomever you please. You definitely would not need to plan to avoid estate tax since your estate would be tax-exempt due to its value, and probate wouldn’t be too complicated for such estates. For more valuable and complex estates such as those involving different businesses, real estate in multiple states, blended families, estate planning is a must as it becomes more complicated for you to handle alone.
But one should note that estate planning do not end with asset transfer. Even if your estate is small, you still need to think about incapacity. Would you like to appoint someone in particular to manage that business of yours or make healthcare decisions for you when you become incapacitated? Then it is advised you get an attorney to create a power of attorney and healthcare directives.
How many documents do I need in my estate plan?
You need as many documents as there are things to consider. This is largely dependent on your estate situation and goals. If you are only concerned with transferring your assets when you die, you could do with only a will. But knowing what’s best for you, your attorney typically would recommend creating the following documents alongside a will:
Trust: This document has so many advantages. Holding assets in trusts for your loved one will enable them receive such assets immediately and privately without going through probate. If you become incapacitated, your named successor trustee would manage your affairs in your stead. If you have minors, it is advisable leaving assets in trusts for them since they cannot directly inherit until they attain the legal age of consent. Irrevocable trusts are also used for asset protection.
- Power of attorney: this document is used for appointing an agent who you desire to take over management of your financial affairs when you become unable to do so yourself.
- Power of attorney for healthcare: The person you appoint here will hold the authority to make decisions for you when you can’t make them yourself. This prevents conflict of opinions amongst your family members as to what your desires would be.
- Living will: on this document, you write specific instructions on the kind of healthcare you would prefer during a terminal illness. Here, no one would make any decisions for you since your decision is already known in your estate plan and must be honored.
Who is an executor, trustee, estate administrator?
Your executor is a person who you name in your will to be in charge of disbursing your estate according to your will. His actions would be overseen by the court during probate.
If you have no will, then an estate administrator is appointed in place of an executor by the court. They have the same responsibilities as an executor.
A trustee on the other hand is a person named in a trust to manage the trust assets on behalf of the beneficiary. You can name yourself as the trustee of your living trust and use the assets while you are alive and well, but must name a successor trustee to take over when you are not.
Would my loved ones pay taxes before they inherit my property?
There are no inheritance taxes in New York. However, there is an estate tax up to 16% payable to the state of New York if your estate is above $5,850,000 and a federal estate tax if the estate exceeds $11,580,000.
Can I avoid these taxes?
You probably would desire such an amount to go to a loved one. Worry not; New York estate planning attorneys are proficient in helping you avoid estate tax through strategic estate planning.
How can I find an estate planning attorney near 11235?
If you wish to get in touch with seasoned estate planning attorney in Brooklyn, NY 11235, simply call our office today to speak with one.