Our estate planning attorneys serve Buffalo NY 14265 and are willing to give you all the assistance you need. When you come to us, our approach is to engage you in in-depth discussion to perfectly understand your situation and needs. As each person is different, so are there situation and goals. These two things are what form your overall estate plan. You may be in a blended family or have special children you want to plan for. We will offer suggestions on how best to transfer your assets, minimize tax, and prepare for long-term care and incapacity.
We also educate you on the New York estate planning process so you can figure out what you may need.
To have peace of mind for your family’s future, you need to have a comprehensive estate plan. Let us help you achieve that peace of mind.
Call us to speak with one of our estate planning attorneys 14265. Your first consultation is free!
Things you need to know about New York estate planning
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is a legal process in which you plan for the management of your estate (the entirety of your possessions) during your life and its disbursement when you pass away. The process involves making plans to ease the asset transfer process, ensure your wishes are honored exactly as you want, and that complications and avoidable costs are avoided. Through estate planning, you can appoint someone to manage your financial affairs and healthcare in the event you become incapacitated. You can also name a guardian to manage assets for your minors until they come of age to inherit what you left for them.
Dying without an estate plan in New York
If you don’t have an estate plan, then you would be said to have died intestate. In intestacy, your estate will be disbursed according to the intestate laws of New York, wherein only your spouse and children can inherit your property. There is a predetermined share for the parties. Your spouse inherits the first $50,000 and half of the remainder, while your children inherit the rest. Chances are that this is not your wish. To ensure your wishes are honored, it is best to create an estate plan now.
Furthermore, without estate planning, you would not be able to minimize probate and estate tax for your family. They might have to go through a lot of stress to inherit your property. Through proper estate planning, you can ease things up for them.
Essential documents that make up a basic New York Estate plan
Will: For distribution of assets. Your Life insurance, retirement account, bank account with transferable-on-death clause should not be addressed in the will.
- Living Trust: To transfer assets during life or after death while avoiding probate
- Living Will: on which you document your wishes concerning end-of-life situations.
- Power of Attorney: for appointing an agent to make financial decisions on your behalf in you eventually become incapacitated.
- Medical Power of Attorney (Healthcare Proxy): A document on which you appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions for you during incapacity.
Leaving assets for minors
Children under 18 cannot inherit by reason of New York law. If you have minors, it is crucial you name a guardian for them in your will. Otherwise, you can leave assets in trust for them. The successor trustee will manage the trust assets on their behalf until they come of age to inherit.
New York estate tax
As at January 1, 2020, the New York estate tax exemption amount was changed to $5,850,000. What this means is that if you die leaving an estate worth over this sum, an amount known as estate tax will be imposed on your estate. New York estate tax ranges between 5-16% of your estate, and must be paid from your estate before your inheritors can get their share.
The good news is that our estate planning attorneys 14265 can help you avoid estate tax by employing certain estate planning strategies.
Do I need to hire an estate planning attorney?
If you attempt to do estate planning on your own, you may make mistakes out of ignorance. These mistakes can lead your family into confusion and disaster. Since estate planning is legal and involves certain complex strategies, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced estate planning attorney near you.
How can I find an estate planning lawyer near me in NY 14265?
We have estate planning lawyers serving Buffalo, NY 14265. To get in touch, simply put a call through to our law office today.