While planning for post-death arrangements is never a comfortable task, proper estate planning is critical to making sure your family is well taken care of after you pass away. Too many people delay discussing their situation with an estate planning attorney for several reasons. Some may believe that estate planning is not necessary because they are too young or do not have a large amount of money. Others believe they must have a spouse and/or children to worry about estate planning. And finally, as mentioned above, many people simply do not like to think about the end of their life.
The idea that you require a large amount of money or property to need an estate plan is a misconception. Wills and trusts planning can address much more than simply giving away your money after your death. It can address health and financial decisions if you become ill or injured and can help to simplify the legal process for any surviving family members if you pass away. In addition, if you do have hard-earned assets or property, a well thought-out estate plan is essential to protect that property from falling into the wrong hands, such as the IRS or creditors.
At the law firm of Hirsch & Hirsch in New York, we know how to design a comprehensive estate plan for you that covers the needs of you and your family and complies with the laws of NY. If you would like to discuss an estate plan or make changes to an existing plan, do not hesitate to call our office today.
Perhaps the two most familiar legal tools for estate planning are a last will and testament (known as a “will”) and a trust. While these tools serve two different functions, they can both be important components of an estate plan.
Wills – A will is a critical part of any estate plan. If you die without a will, the court will divide your property and money based on instructions in the NY intestacy laws. This means that you will have no say in who gets your property after your death. On the other hand, if there is a will to be submitted to the probate court, the court will review the will to make sure it is valid. If the will is valid, the court will require that the executor of your estate follow your instructions that you set out in your will.
Trusts – While a will plays an important role in the legal process of probate, a trust can be valuable as it helps you avoid probate whenever possible. When you create a living trust, you will transfer ownership of your property, investments, and assets over to the trust. Because the property is no longer in your personal ownership, all property in the trust will be shielded from the probate process.
While the trust technically owns the property, you still have the power to access, use, and manage the property until you pass away. After your death, a trustee–selected by you–will manage and distribute your property according to the instructions in the trust document, which are determined by you. We can help you select a competent trustee who will ensure that your property is protected and gets to the right beneficiaries. In addition to protecting your property from probate, certain kinds of trusts can also help you protect your assets from creditors or taxes. We can help you create the right kind of trust for your situation.
NY Estate Planning Attorney
Wills and trusts are only the beginning of a comprehensive estate plan, as you also should consider what happens if you become mentally incapacitated due to illness or injury. Such incapacitation can happen when you least expect it and you want to make sure you have someone you can trust and who understands your wishes in charge of your decisions. To ensure you and your finances are properly cared for, we can help you create the following:
- Living trust
- Durable Power Of Attorney
Call for a Consultation with Hirsch & Hirsch, LLP Today
A carefully considered and drafted estate plan can help ease fears about what will happen to you and your valued property at the end of your life. At Hirsch & Hirsch, we have been helping the hard-working people of New York plan for the future for decades. We will help you create an estate plan that fully protects your family and your finances, so please call today at 516-486-8500 to discuss your situation.