Looking forward to the days when one becomes old or deceased can often bring sadness to one’s heart. But it doesn’t have to be so when you know fully well that when you are gone or incapacitated, your wishes would be carried out exactly as you want, and that your loved ones would be financially secured. This brings peace of mind. To get such peace of mind, consulting an estate planning attorney is worth considering.
At our law firm based in New York, we offer personalized services to clients in Atlantic Beach, NY 11509 and all other parts of New York who wish to create a comprehensive plan that goes in line with their best interests. Our team of estate planning attorneys are experts in reviewing your estate and discussing on a personal level with you in order to determine those goals and desires you have but didn’t even know you do. We work hand in hand with our clients to come up with a holistic estate plan that covers the management of your asset during incapacity and death, the disbursement of your estate with minimal tax liabilities, and ensuring that all your estate wishes are carried out to the letter.
Essential estate planning documents we execute for our clients
Our holistic approach to estate planning requires us to create some or all the following estate planning documents as your situation requires:
- Wills: This is a fundamental estate planning document which many estates can easily do with. On your will, you spell out correctly just how you want your estate disbursed when you pass away by naming your beneficiaries and describing how the assets should be distributed amongst them. It is also important to name a trusted executor who must represent you when you pass away to oversee the legal process of estate administration known as probate. We can work with you and your executor, guiding them through the legal procedure.
If you have minors, we advise naming a guardian to manage assets for them should anything happen to you. Should they turn 18 while you are still alive, we help review the plan to make the required.
A will can only handle assets owned in your name only without beneficiary designations or joint ownership. IRAs, Payable-on-death accounts, and life insurance should be kept out of your will.
- Durable powers of attorney: A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document by which you grant an agent the authority to make decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so. Such decisions could be solely regarding your estate and financial transactions (financial POA) or medical decisions (medical POA also known as healthcare proxy).
This document is important to prepare for sudden incapacity. No one knows when that is going to happen but it its eventuality, your durable power of attorney springs into effect and your appointed agent takes over your affairs so that you are not put at a disadvantage due to the incapacity.
- Living Will: A living will is another useful estate planning document which we can help you create should you have any healthcare preferences for end of life situations. Such preference may include rejection to be put on life support, to be used for organ/tissue donation, etc. When you are in an end-of-life situation and you can’t make those decisions, the document speaks on your behalf.
- Living trust: A living trust is a multi-purpose estate planning document. It can be used to transfer assets but unlike a will, the assets placed in the trust can be passed to the beneficiary at any time during life or after death. The assets assume the name of the trust and so pass outside probate unlike a will. As probate is often complex, lengthy and expensive in New York, most people use trusts instead of wills. However, not all assets should be placed in a trust and this is why it is important to speak with an estate planning attorney near you.
Our estate planning attorneys are also experts in tax planning. In New York, there is an estate tax payable for estates valuing over $5.85 million. If your estate is such and you wish to avoid it, we can do that by reducing your estate value through gifting to your loved ones, setting up irrevocable trusts alongside a pour-over will, etc.
If you live around Atlantic Beach and wish to speak with an estate planning attorney 11509, call us today to schedule a consultation.