Estate planning is all about planning and making decisions towards the management of your estate and its efficient distribution when you pass away. And when you die, probate may take place.
Our Buffalo probate attorneys highly skilled in the probate process of New York can assist executors, making the process faster and less problematic.
Our estate planning lawyers in Buffalo, NY can help you map out a comprehensive estate plan that uses New York estate laws to your benefit. We can formulate legal strategies by which you can pass on your assets with little or no tax liability. We also ensure that during your later years and possible incapacity, you would have someone competent managing your financial and medical affairs.
Let us create you an estate plan that works to your best interest.
Contact us today.
How your estate planning attorney Buffalo NY will assist you
Efficient asset transfer
A crucial aspect of Estate planning involves making plans for the transfer of your assets when you pass away, ensuring it is done efficiently and at minimum cost. There are ways to do this.
Writing a will: A will, formally called a last will and testament, is a legal document on which you state clearly your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate. Your estate in this sense includes all that you own that has financial value.
As simple as writing a will may seem, it is not always so, especially when you have complicated assets or a complicated family. That’s where we come in.
As your estate planning lawyer, we can guide you on the best way to distribute your assets to avoid discrepancies and estate litigation among your family. We also offer advice on what assets to address in your will and those to leave outside of it. If you have highly valuable assets, we typically advise keeping them out of the will to avoid probate.
Living trusts and probate minimization
Your will does not become active until death, which is why you can alter your will at any time. At death, it becomes active and must be taken to your county probate court by your executor, someone who you should name in your will.
During probate, the court checks your will for validity, your debts and estate taxes will be paid, and your estate disbursed according to your will. This process can take anything between 3 months to years, and not until it concludes can your loved ones inherit.
That is why we often advise executing a living trust instead of or alongside a will. Trusts avoid probate and enable your loved ones inherit immediately you pass away. This document is more complex than a will, so it’s crucial you get help from an estate planning lawyer Buffalo.
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 Buffalo 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 Buffalo estate attorney to ensure you get everything right.
Depending on the value of your estate, a huge amount of money may be going to the state as estate tax. Our estate planning attorneys are proficient tax planners and can help you minimize the tax liabilities of your estate.
Planning for Incapacity
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 your medical power of attorney has no authority over your finances and vise-versa.
Our aim is to give you peace of mind knowing your future and that of your loved ones is secure. Get help from our expert probate and estate planning attorneys by contacting us today.