Our estate planning lawyers Bronx NY are ever ready to give you all the help you need. Serving the whole of Bronx, we understand the needs, issues, and laws affecting Bronx resident, and know how best to help. From creation of wills and trusts to tax and incapacity planning, we’ve got you covered.
Our aim is to give you peace of mind for the future, knowing your choicest loved ones will get all that you want them to receive, and your estate will be in competent hands when something happens to you.
Call us for expert assistance from an Estate Planning Lawyer Bronx NY.
Things to know about estate planning Bronx NY
Estate planning essentials
A basic estate plan in Bronx may include all the following documents:
- Will – to express your final wishes concerning the distribution of your assets when you die. It can also be used to establish guardianship for your minors if you pass away before they come of age. It goes into effect after death. You name an executor in your will who will carry out your wishes.
- Living trust: Also used to pass assets to beneficiaries but more efficiently than a will because the assets would pass outside probate. It takes effect once executed and funded with assets.
- Durable financial power of attorney: A durable financial power of attorney is a document on which you appoint an agent (attorney-in-fact) to manage your financial affairs in the event you become unable to manage them yourself.
- Durable medical power of attorney: A medical power of attorney or healthcare surrogate is a document on which you appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so yourself.
- Living will: In this document, you make decisions on what medical actions you would want taken when you are in an end-of-life situation.
Probate is a court-supervised process that may or may not take place when you pass away. If you have a will, then probate must be conducted in the probate court in the county where you own property. During this process, the court checks your will for validity before allowing your named executor to settle your estate (pay all estate debts, tax, funeral expenses, probate fees and other financial obligations and then distributing what’s left to the named beneficiaries.)
However, only assets held in your name can pass through probate.
What assets can you pass with your will in Bronx, NY?
Only assets held in your name only can go in your will. These assets are called probate assets.
Your real property jointly owned with your spouse, properties titled in a trust, life insurance proceeds and transfer-on-death accounts (all of these already have beneficiaries named in the documents) cannot go in a will because they already have their own designated beneficiaries.
Estate tax exemption, Bronx NY
Across states, there is an amount known as estate tax exemption amount. In New York, this amount is $5.93 million as at 2021. If the estimated value of your estate falls below this amount at the time of your death, you estate can pass to your inheritors tax-free. But if your estate exceeds that value, an amount known as estate tax must be paid to the state of New York.
However, through proper planning, an estate planning attorney in Bronx can help you prevent this, ensuring your valuable money goes to your loved ones who deserve it.
Incapacity is a very important concern that needs to be addressed in a proper estate plan. You are declared legally incapacitated if you are medically unfit to make decisions for yourself. It may be due to unconsciousness, a critical illness, Alzheimer’s, etc.
By establishing a document known as power of attorney, an estate planning attorney Bronx can help you appoint a competent agent to manage your financial and/or medical affairs when you become unable to manage them yourself. Incapacity can strike at anytime, and it’s important you plan for it now that you are still competent so that your wishes can be honored when the time comes.
Intestacy in Bronx, NY
If you die without having any form of asset transfer plan in place (will or trust), your estate is declared an intestate estate. In intestacy, your wishes are not known, so the court will decide who has a share. By default, in Bronx and throughout New York, your spouse will receive the first $50,000 and half of your estate while your children receive the rest.
Getting in touch with an Estate Planning Lawyer Bronx NY
Call us today to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Bronx, NY.