There is utmost need to protect the properties which you’ve toiled for. It is important you set out instructions or make plans regarding these properties and what you desire for them when you become incapable of making such decisions later.
While you yet live, incapacity can render you unfit for making decisions regarding your own assets. All assets in your name must be accounted for when you die and passed on to some other party or parties, and there is need for you to lay down instructions on how these assets would be distributed. The process of making end-of-life plans and planning for after-death situations is what is referred to as estate planning.
Estate planning documents
The most fundamental estate planning documents every New Yorker should have are wills and trusts.
A will is a written document which expresses your desires regarding how you want your assets distributed and to whom they would be distributed. A will is a very important estate planning document, and every asset owned in your name can be controlled by your Last Will. As simple as drafting a will may seem, errors are not uncommon, and estate laws may change. Although there are Will templates which you can easily get online, it is important you seek the services of an estate planning lawyer NYC.
In a will, you must name your beneficiaries, and then an executor who would see to it that your wishes are duly executed during probate. Every will must be probated in a law court to validate that it meets all state requirements. If it doesn’t, then the will becomes invalid and useless. This just another reason why you need the professional assistance of an estate attorney to ensure your will meets all state requirements.
All wills are subject to probate, a lengthy, complex and expensive court procedure. A lot of New Yorkers avoid this by creating a trust instead of a will. With a trust, you can pass property on to a beneficiary discretely without the publicity of probate. However, there are different kinds of trusts, each better suited for a particular financial purpose. Whereas your wills and revocable trusts can be changed during your lifetime, an irrevocable trust cannot. Also, an irrevocable trust has several advantages over the aforementioned documents.
There are other important estate planning documents to handle end-of-life situations and incapacity such as:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Proxy
- Guardianship, etc.
In determining what document best fits your situation and how to prepare such documents, you need to be adequately informed by an attorney well experienced in New York estate planning.
Why you need estate planning in New York
There is every need to plan your estate on time before you die. When you die without having an estate plan in New York, all your assets will be distributed according to New York estate laws, and these laws provides that your closest family members be your beneficiaries in a legal process called probate. It is common for families to become estranged over the years and as a result of this, collecting information regarding next of kin may become complicated. Also, family members who are less deserving of your assets may end up receiving the lion’s share because you failed to express your wishes in an estate plan. The fundamental purpose of creating an estate plan is to avoid any confusion which may lead to dispute among surviving family members. To avoid such undesirable occurrences, it is expedient you draw out an estate plan with the help of an experienced New York estate planning attorney.
Finding an estate planning attorney near me NYC
Drafting estate planning documents can be quite daunting at times, especially when there are complicated assets and property owned in other states in addition to those you own in New York. Each property must be thoroughly reviewed along with their tax implications, and the state laws binding the ownership and tax implications of such assets must be taken into consideration while preparing an estate plan. Probating assets owned in different states would require having to go through the lengthy and complex legal process in each individual state where property is owned, and this greatly bites into the value of an estate. An estate plan should be such that minimizes cost, taxes and stress, as well as provide you the simplest way in passing your property on to your intended beneficiaries. It is also important to know how assets such as jointly owned assets, retirement accounts, stocks, real estate, life insurance, would be passed upon death. For all the above complexities, contacting an estate planning attorney NYC is the first step in creating the best estate plan tailored to your specific financial situation. A New York estate planning lawyer will offer you insight into the best way to draft your estate plan, the right documents to use that best addresses each problem which you may face, and help you cut down on taxes. Contact an estate planning attorney near you today.