As you get older in life, several questions begin to pop on in your mind: “How should I distribute my possessions amongst my loved ones? How sure am I that each person is going to get just what I want for them? Can I still give to charity when I die? What about taxes? Will a part of my estate go to the state? If I fall terminally ill now, who will look after my estate and make necessary decisions for me?”
All these and so many more are the kind of questions that may already be running through your mind. This quite possibly may be the reason you are in search of an estate planning attorney near you. The good news is, that is the best step you can take right now.
We are here to help
At our law firm, our estate planning attorneys are proficient and have assisted several clients all over New York in creating the best fit estate plan for their particular situations. When you come to us, we take a good look into your heart through personal discussions, identifying your wishes and concerns. This we do with the hope of creating a personalized estate plan that covers all your concerns and offers you the best benefits. Be you a young entrepreneur wishing to secure your life’s work, a man or woman going into a new marriage with kids from the previous, or an elderly looking forward to long-term care and eventual death, we would help you meet your needs.
If you live around Brooklyn, 11220, kindly place a call to our office to get in touch with a lawyer.
Essential documents for estate planning
In your estate plan, the following documents are necessary to give you a well-rounded coverage.
A will is an asset transfer document. With it, you can leave assets for a relative, friend, charity and even a stranger. It gives you freedom to choose beneficiaries as best fit for you. It is our duty to guide you in putting down your wishes to ensure that they are executable when you pass away. Some people who opt for do-it-yourself often put their survivors into jams because there was a discrepancy, omission or ambiguity in their will.
If you have minors, then we can advise naming a guardian in your will. This is because minors are not allowed to inherit until they turn 18. The guardian would manage the assets you leave for them until they can inherit.
2. Living Trust
This document is mostly preferred over a will because of its characteristic probate avoidance. Assets held in a trust will not pass through probate — a rather complicated, expensive and time-consuming legal process carried out after you die before your assets can be distributed. A trust quickens asset bequeathal and reduces cost in the long run. As it is more complex than a will, get an attorney to execute your trust for you. By naming a successor trustee in your living trust, you would have someone to represent you during incapacity, as well as manage funds for your minors when you die before they come of age.
3. Powers of attorney
These documents are effective for incapacity planning. We would help you create a durable financial power of attorney to appoint someone to make financial decisions for you during incapacity.
4. Advance healthcare directives
This document, also known as healthcare proxy/surrogate, enables you name a surrogate to manage your healthcare during incapacity. Your surrogate will be in charge of speaking with your doctor and making healthcare decisions for you since you can no longer make them yourself These documents prevents the need for guardianship, therefore saving cost and preventing the court from deciding for you.
Ensuring your documents are compliant with state laws
There are state laws that determine how each document is to be created. For example, the requirements for a valid will in New York are as follows:
- The testator must be 18 years or more;
- Having a sound mind at the time of signing the will;
- With at least two witnesses who must verify their presence by each signing on the will in the presence of each other.
Also, your personal representative or fiduciary must be a domiciliary or non-domiciliary resident of New York before they can represent you. Flouting any of these statutes may render your document invalid and throw your family into trauma amidst the grief of losing you.
It is our duty as your attorney to ensure your documents are legally established.
There is peace of mind when you know your wishes will be known and honored when you die or become incapacitated. Get help from an estate planning attorney near you by calling us today.