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estate planning lawyers


You are not alone if you do not want to think about death or disability. However, establishing an
estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved
ones. A proper estate plan will put you in charge of your finances. More importantly, an estate
plan can also spare your loved ones the expense, delay and frustration frequently associated with
managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled. We can help you to develop and
implement your estate plan while working to reduce the anxiety and stress often associated with
this process.


A well-crafted estate plan will provide for your loved ones in an efficient and effective manner
by avoiding the need for a guardianship during your lifetime, a costly probate or administration
process on your death and the payment of unnecessary estate taxes. We offer a free consultation
which will allow us to review your family and financial situation with you, examine your goals
and have your various options explained to you in a simple and relaxed manner. Ultimately, once
your estate plan is properly in place, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you have
provided for yourself and your family just in case the unthinkable happens.

 

Probate vs. Administration

Many people are understandably confused about what happens to their assets when they pass
away. If you execute a Will, your assets will pass to your designated beneficiaries through the
Probate Process. If you die without a Will, your assets will pass to your legal heirs through the
Administration Process. The law of New York State will determine who your legal heirs or
“distributees” are. Therefore, if you do not have a will, you will not be able to decide for yourself who should receive your assets upon your death.
Unfortunately, in some situations the Probate Process can be long, costly and stressful for your
beneficiaries. Therefore, in some situations you may decide that it is better to try and avoid the
Probate Process altogether. With proper planning, your assets can pass to your loved ones
without having to go through the probate process, in a quick, inexpensive and private manner.

 

 Providing for Incapacity


If you become incapacitated and can not manage your own affairs, contrary to what many people
believe, your spouse or your children will not automatically be able to take over for you. In order
for others to be able to manage your finances, they would have to petition the court to declare
you legally incompetent and seek to be appointed your guardian. This can be a very lengthy and
expensive process. Even if the court appoints the person you want them to, that person will still
need to report back to the court on a regular basis to explain how they are spending your money.
In order to avoid this, you may designate the person or persons you trust through the proper legal
documents, often a Durable Power of Attorney, so that they will have authority to manage your
affairs.

In addition to planning for the financial aspect of your incapacity, you must also consider your
medical needs. The law permits you to appoint someone, for example a family member or close
friend, to make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so. The appropriate
document to do this is a Health Care Proxy. Additionally, a Living Will sets forth your specific
wishes so that your loved ones will know what your preferred medical treatment is and whether
you favor the use of extraordinary measures in case you become permanently unconscious or
terminally ill.

 

Providing for Minor Children


If you have minor children, it is important that your estate plan addresses issues regarding their
upbringing and financial well being. You may want to consider a plan that will allow your
surviving spouse time to devote more attention to young children, without the burden of work
obligations. You should also plan for the unthinkable possibility of you and your spouse dying
simultaneously, or within a short period of time. A proper contingency plan will name the person
you would like to manage your assets, as well as be the guardian of your children. These need not
be the same person. In fact, many times you will want to name different people in order to
implement a system of checks and balances. Although this is a very difficult issue for many
people to think about, if you do not have a proper plan in effect, the court will decide who should
raise your children and manage your finances.
Additional issues you will want to consider are whether you want your beneficiaries to receive
your assets directly, or whether you would prefer to have your assets placed in trust and
distributed based on any number of factors you will designate, such as age, need, incentives
based upon behavior or education. Too frequently, children inherit substantial assets before they
are mature enough to handle them properly, often with devastating results.

 

Charitable Bequests


A proper estate plan may also allow you to benefit your favorite charitable organization or cause.
You may do this is in a variety of ways, both during your life and upon your death. Depending on
your specific needs, your charitable giving plan may also be set up to provide an income stream
for your life, earn a higher investment return or reduce your capital gains or estate taxes.


Planning for Estate Taxes


Whenever an individual passes away there is the possibility Estate taxes may be due to either
their state of residence and/or the federal government. Whether or not estate taxes are due will
depend upon the size of the estate and who the beneficiaries are. There are many different
effective strategies that can be utilized in order to reduce or eliminate estate taxes. However, the
planning process must begin early in order to be effective.

 

 

 

 

 

You are not alone if you do not want to think about death or disability. However, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones. A proper estate plan will put you in charge of your finances. More importantly, an estate plan can also spare your loved ones the expense, delay and frustration frequently associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled. We can help you to develop and implement your estate plan while working to reduce the anxiety and stress often associated with this process.


A well-crafted estate plan will provide for your loved ones in an efficient and effective manner by avoiding the need for a guardianship during your lifetime, a costly probate or administration process on your death and the payment of unnecessary estate taxes. We offer a free consultation which will allow us to review your family and financial situation with you, examine your goals and have your various options explained to you in a simple and relaxed manner. Ultimately, once your estate plan is properly in place, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you have provided for yourself and your family just in case the unthinkable happens.

 

Probate vs. Administration

Many people are understandably confused about what happens to their assets when they pass away. If you execute a Will, your assets will pass to your designated beneficiaries through the Probate Process. If you die without a Will, your assets will pass to your legal heirs through the Administration Process. The law of New York State will determine who your legal heirs or “distributees” are. Therefore, if you do not have a will, you will not be able to decide for yourself who should receive your assets upon your death.
Unfortunately, in some situations the Probate Process can be long, costly and stressful for your beneficiaries. Therefore, in some situations you may decide that it is better to try and avoid the
Probate Process altogether. With proper planning, your assets can pass to your loved ones without having to go through the probate process, in a quick, inexpensive and private manner.

 

 Providing for Incapacity


If you become incapacitated and can not manage your own affairs, contrary to what many people believe, your spouse or your children will not automatically be able to take over for you. In order
for others to be able to manage your finances, they would have to petition the court to declare you legally incompetent and seek to be appointed your guardian. This can be a very lengthy and
expensive process. Even if the court appoints the person you want them to, that person will still need to report back to the court on a regular basis to explain how they are spending your money.
In order to avoid this, you may designate the person or persons you trust through the proper legal documents, often a Durable Power of Attorney, so that they will have authority to manage your
affairs.

In addition to planning for the financial aspect of your incapacity, you must also consider your medical needs. The law permits you to appoint someone, for example a family member or close
friend, to make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so. The appropriate document to do this is a Health Care Proxy. Additionally, a Living Will sets forth your specific
wishes so that your loved ones will know what your preferred medical treatment is and whether you favor the use of extraordinary measures in case you become permanently unconscious or terminally ill.

 

Providing for Minor Children


If you have minor children, it is important that your estate plan addresses issues regarding their upbringing and financial well being. You may want to consider a plan that will allow your
surviving spouse time to devote more attention to young children, without the burden of work obligations. You should also plan for the unthinkable possibility of you and your spouse dying
simultaneously, or within a short period of time. A proper contingency plan will name the person you would like to manage your assets, as well as be the guardian of your children. These need not be the same person. In fact, many times you will want to name different people in order to implement a system of checks and balances. Although this is a very difficult issue for many
people to think about, if you do not have a proper plan in effect, the court will decide who should raise your children and manage your finances. Additional issues you will want to consider are whether you want your beneficiaries to receive
your assets directly, or whether you would prefer to have your assets placed in trust and distributed based on any number of factors you will designate, such as age, need, incentives
based upon behavior or education. Too frequently, children inherit substantial assets before they are mature enough to handle them properly, often with devastating results.

 

Charitable Bequests


A proper estate plan may also allow you to benefit your favorite charitable organization or cause. You may do this is in a variety of ways, both during your life and upon your death. Depending on
your specific needs, your charitable giving plan may also be set up to provide an income stream for your life, earn a higher investment return or reduce your capital gains or estate taxes.


Planning for Estate Taxes


Whenever an individual passes away there is the possibility Estate taxes may be due to either their state of residence and/or the federal government. Whether or not estate taxes are due will
depend upon the size of the estate and who the beneficiaries are. There are many different effective strategies that can be utilized in order to reduce or eliminate estate taxes. However, the planning process must begin early in order to be effective.

 

 

 

 

 


You are not alone if you do not want to think about death or disability. However, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones. A proper estate plan will put you in charge of your finances. More importantly, an estate plan can also spare your loved ones the expense, delay and frustration frequently associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled. We can help you to develop and implement your estate plan while working to reduce the anxiety and stress often associated with this process.


A well-crafted estate plan will provide for your loved ones in an efficient and effective manner by avoiding the need for a guardianship during your lifetime, a costly probate or administration process on your death and the payment of unnecessary estate taxes. We offer a free consultation which will allow us to review your family and financial situation with you, examine your goals and have your various options explained to you in a simple and relaxed manner. Ultimately, once your estate plan is properly in place, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you have provided for yourself and your family just in case the unthinkable happens.

 

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