An estate planning attorney can mean the difference between a problematic estate plan and one that makes life easy for the surviving family. You do not want your family to run into confusion because they don’t know your wishes when something happens to you. And you surely don’t want your estate going down through payment of taxes and debts leaving next to nothing for your survivors to inherit. These and more make it important for you to get your estate plan right.
Get your estate plan right by seeking guidance from an Estate Planning Attorney Buffalo NY.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning involves making decisions for your future and legally writing them down. These decisions typically have to do with how you want your assets managed when something happens to you, such as incapacity or death, and how these assets can be transferred to your loved ones tax-efficient and hassle-free. An experienced estate planning attorney in Buffalo can help you plan and make well-informed decisions.
There are essential documents that your attorney will include in your estate plan.
5 Estate planning documents an estate planning attorney will create for you
- Will: Your last will and testament is a document on which you express your wishes concerning the transfer of your wealth when you pass away. It typically involves writing down who gets what. If you have minors, your attorney can also help you establish guardianship for them by naming a guardian in your will. (Minors cannot inherit, so would require a guardian to manage assets for them until they attain 18).
Wills go into effect only after the testator passes away and every will in Buffalo must go through probate.
- Living trust: Probate is a court process that takes time and money before the inheritors can get their share of the estate. You can prevent it or minimize the challenge by transferring your assets with a living trust rather than a will. We often suggest using both documents side-by-side so you can enjoy the benefits of both.
- Durable power of attorney: Should you become incapacitated at any time, there may be confusion as to what you would want for your business and financial matters. Each member of your family may have a different opinion, so it’s best to grant one individual authority to make decisions on your behalf. You do this in a power of attorney document.
- Healthcare surrogate: Your healthcare surrogate or medical power of attorney is a document on which you name who to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so yourself.
- Living will: In a living will, you decide what they should do to you if they find you in an end-of-life situation, such as one with almost no chance for survival.
4 reasons why you should hire an estate planning attorney in Buffalo, NY
1. Keeping up with the laws
Estate laws in New York are always changing. It therefore requires a legal professional specialized in estate planning to keep track of these laws. If your estate plan does not conform to them, it would be invalid. Hiring an estate planning attorney becomes necessary.
2. Customizing your will and trust
While you may get a New York will template online, it’s not always so easy personalizing the terms to reflect your personal estate situation and goes. In trying to do so, you may do more harm than good and end up ruining the validity of the will. But an estate planning attorney will listen to you and out of experience, will help you draft the will to work just as is best for your situation.
And trusts are more complicated to create, so it’s always recommended having guidance from an attorney.
3. Updating your estate plan
Your situation is likely to change at any time. You may acquire new assets and lose some; you may also get divorced or get a child. All of these would require an update to your existing plan.
4. Coordinating your estate planning documents
Each document should work as a piece of a puzzle, not as an independent entity. While having a will, living trust, and powers of attorney, you have to be sure they do not cause discrepancy in your entire estate plan. An experienced attorney will always assess your entire estate in relation to your plan and ensure all documents work in coordination.
Estate planning attorney near me Buffalo, NY
Looking for a seasoned estate planning attorney in Buffalo, New York? Call us to get in touch with one.