1. Preventing conflicts and confusion
When you die without a comprehensive estate plan, then some of your assets may just be there without having a beneficiary. This can cause your surviving family members to squabble over inheritance. It is therefore important that you assess all your assets and address each duly in your estate plan. Your attorney will take the time to carry out financial assessment and plan properly for you.
2. Carrying out incapacity planning
Most people who carry out estate planning on their own only remember to plan for asset bequeathal after death without giving due considerations to incapacity. An attorney who has been doing this a long time knows that incapacity planning is a core aspect of an estate plan, and so will help you prepare powers of attorney, living will, advance healthcare directives, etc. Those instruments enable you to appoint someone to oversee your financial and medical welfare when you become incapacitated.
3. Avoiding mistakes
As is obvious, a doctor doing the job of a plumber is bound to make mistakes. This is what happens when you try to handle legal matters yourself. There are state requirements for executing wills, trust, powers of attorney, etc., and if these requirements are not followed to the letter, they end up in court as void. To be on the safe side, get a lawyer to do it for you.
4. Planning for tax
Currently in New York, an estate tax must be deducted from your estate if you die leaving it at a value of over $5,850,000. It must be paid to the state before your beneficiaries can inherit. The tax can reach up to 16% of the estate. Estates below that threshold value do not have to pay estate tax to the state. This means that you can avoid such taxes by limiting your estate worth below the threshold. Your attorney can help achieve this by gifting parts of your estate to your loved ones yearly as you get older, removing some funds from the estate and setting them up in trusts, etc.
5. Avoiding probate
If you do not wish your family to go through the lengthy and complex court process of probate, you can transfer your assets using trusts. Establishing a trust is more delicate than writing a will, and it is important you seek the assistance of an estate attorney.
6. Financial security for minors
You may think that when you pass away, your minors (children below 18) can simply inherit your property and use them but this is not so. If you are survived by a spouse, your possessions will go to them and your adult children, but not minors. If you are not sure that your minors will be cared for just as you would want, it is important you leave assets in trusts for them or appoint a guardian for them who must care for your minors exactly as you specify in the document until they come of age to claim the inheritance. An estate planning attorney will see to it that this consideration is addressed accordingly.
7. Keeping up with state laws
Estate laws of New York are constantly changing. For example, estate tax exemption amount for 2019 was $5,740,000 and rose to $5,850,000 in 2020 and expected to rise in coming years. The estate planning attorney is always up-to-date with estate laws, and would effect whatever changes in your plan when necessary.
What could go wrong with a ‘do it yourself’ estate plan?
It could be tempting and perhaps less expensive to make estate plans all by yourself. The dangers lies in not creating the proper plans which would be fit to stand in New York. While it may not be bad engaging in steps involved in planning your estate, it is a bad idea to go do it all yourself without involving an estate planning attorney near you.
Contact an estate Planning Attorney today.
If you aren’t an estate planning attorney, you may require the help of one when planning your estate. A competent estate planning Attorney has the necessary resources, experience, and knowledge to ensure that your estate plan covers all your wish. An estate planning attorney can also offer you valuable advice regarding how you should plan your estate to avoid the much-dreaded probate process.
If you reside in the city of New York and you need the assistance of a good estate planning attorney for your estate, you can count on us! We boast of the best estate planning attorney in the state. Contact us now!