Estate planning is the process of making decisions concerning the management of your personal and estate affairs during life and incapacity, as well as the distribution of your possessions after death while minimizing complications and costs. And this is what estate planning attorneys do.
Our estate planning attorneys are specialized lawyers that will assist you throughout your estate planning process in Buffalo. We provide a holistic and personalized approach. We seek first to understand your situation and goals and build a comprehensive estate plan that addresses each issue.
If your situation is similar to any of the following, then you need keen estate planning such as we offer:
- You own assets and wish to pass them down to specific individuals when you die
- You are in a blended marriage, recently divorced, or a single looking to protect their real, personal, and intellectual property
- You have minors or a child with special needs
- You are an elder looking towards incapacity planning, Medicaid, and long-term care
- Your family is estranged, and you’re worried if there will be disputes when you die
- You’re at a loss how to distribute your estate
- You own property in multiple states
- Your estate has a value above the New York estate tax exemption threshold, but you wish to avoid the tax
- You know how complicated the probate system of New York is, and wish to avoid it
Estate planning services we offer
To address the above situations, we can help you do the following:
Drafting a will
With a will, you can leave assets to anybody of your choice, whether related or not, or even charity. Although most wills are simple, a complex estate will necessitate an elaborate will. And it is our wish to help you address your assets and beneficiaries in such a way that simplifies the distribution process. We will also customize your will according to your personal situation. You can as well name a guardian for your minors in your will.
Executing a trust
Trusts are more complex than wills and require legal expertise to execute. Whereas wills go into effect only after you die, trusts are effective the very moment you create and fund assets into them. One major advantage that trusts have over wills is the area of probate avoidance. When we create a living trust for you, the assets held therein will pass directly to your loved ones immediately you die without going through the lengthy court process. If you have minors or children with special needs, we can create special trusts for them.
- Power of attorney: To address the fear of incapacity, we will create powers of attorney for you. This document allows you to name an individual who will step in to handle your affairs should you become unable to do so yourself. Your agent’s authority agent could be limited to your healthcare or financial affairs or both, according to your instructions and the kind of POA executed.
- Living will: This document will bear your wishes for a possible end of life situation.
Our Buffalo estate planning attorneys are experts in tax planning. We carry out tax planning to ensure your loved ones get the most out of your estate. Suppose your estate worths over the New York estate tax threshold of $5.85 million. Up to 16% of its value may be going to the state of New York. That can be avoided through gifting, owning property in joint tenancy, and execution of irrevocable trusts to reduce the amount below the threshold. Do not worry; it’s not as if you’re throwing out your property. These are estate planning strategies with great benefits.
Probate is a court process done for all assets held in your name alone before they can be inherited. Probate in Buffalo follows New York laws and is complicated, lengthy, expensive, and time-consuming. Assets held in wills pass through probate, but those held in trusts do not.
We work with you to ensure your estate planning strategies do not disqualify you for Medicaid benefits if you so desire. We can also help you apply for Medicaid.
Long-term care and guardianship
To ensure your quality of life at old age or your elderly loved ones, kindly plan towards long-term care or guardianship. Our estate planning attorneys will work with you, help you apply for guardianship, and educate you about the process.
Have questions? We’ve got answers
For all your questions about estate planning, we’re here for you. Give us a call.
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