Estate planning is a critical legal provision by which you can secure your financial future and that of your loved ones. Through estate planning, you can decide:
- Just how you want your affairs managed when you become incapacitated probably due to old age
- Who manages your financial and personal affairs and make healthcare decisions on your behalf
- The kind of healthcare you desire when you are unable to make such decisions end-of-life
- Who receives what asset when you pass away.
You can plan towards these things and several more by stating your wishes in certain documents. This is estate planning, and our estate planning and probate lawyers in Long Island can give you all the help you need.
Creating wills and trusts
A fundamental aspect of estate planning is declaring who your assets will go to when you pass away. This decision is addressed in a will.
Although very simple to create, your will must pass some requirements for it to be valid. It must also be written in clear terms such as are recognized by the probate court. That’s because every will must pass through the probate court at the death of the testator before the will can be enforced.
Our estate planning and probate lawyers can help you properly write your will by first listening keenly to your needs and wishes.
As your estate planning and probate lawyer, we may also help you plan to minimize probate. Probate can be lengthy and expensive depending on the value of estate passing through the court. We can help you minimize all of that by placing some assets in a revocable living trust.
By placing valuable assets in a trust, the left over assets passing through your will would be minimal; hence, probate cost and time will be minimal.
Incapacity and powers of attorney
We advise creating living trusts because of their multiple benefits. When you create a living trust and name a successor trustee, this trustee will become automatically responsible for managing your estate when you become incapacitated. At your death, they would manage your trust assets and distribute them according to your instructions.
However, we can also help you establish a power of attorney if you don’t want a living trust. In a power of attorney document, you name an agent who makes financial and/or healthcare decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so. Your agent in a medical power of attorney has no authority over your assets and vise-versa.
Trust and powers of attorney must be established when you’re still competent.
In a case where your elderly loved one falls into incapacity without creating any of these documents, you would need to apply for guardianship to put them into your care. Our estate planning attorneys can help with this although it is often more complicated and expensive than creating durable powers of attorney.
Financial planning is also another crucial aspect of estate planning. You need to mitigate the cost of asset transfer to ensure the loved ones you’re leaving behind get the most out of your estate. If not, estate taxes, creditors, and probate court fees among others can cut deep into your estate purse.
Our estate planning and probate lawyers Long Island are competent financial planners. We will assess your estate to determine the best strategies to adopt.
As an executor of a will, you have sensitive responsibilities, including:
- Filing the will to the probate court
- Handling and managing the decedent’s assets
- Dealing with the decedent’s creditors
- Filing all applicable tax returns, settling these taxes, paying off creditors and probate court fees from the estate purse.
- Deciding whether to invest estate assets or liquidate as the case may be
- Distributing the assets to beneficiaries according to the will.
You will have to abide by Long Island laws and there is always room for mistakes if you’re inexperienced. A little mistake can be calamitous to the estate and may lead to litigation between surviving family and executor.
Therefore, it’s always advisable to contact a Long Island probate attorney to ensure you get everything right.
Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer near me Long Island
Proper estate planning is peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Do not put your family into confusion when disaster strikes because they do not know your wishes. Let us help you plan today. Call us.