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September 2017 Archives

What should I know about small estates when estate planning?

Not every New Yorker has a vast portfolio with significant assets that must be distributed at the time of death. Some people have significantly less. This determines the designation of the property of the decedent being referred to as a "small estate." If there was less than $30,000 in personal property - items that do not include real property - at the time of death, it will be a small estate. Technically, the estate is subject to Voluntary Administration. This makes it irrelevant as to whether the decedent had crafted a will.

How does intestacy affect my estate after death?

For people who have died and did not have a valid will, their estate is considered intestate. This means that there was no will and the distribution of assets will be based on the law for such circumstances. New York residents who fail to have even a basic estate plan should be aware of what this can do to the loved ones who are relegated to receiving their portions of the estate not based on what the person wants, but based on statute.

A special needs trust can give peace of mind and protection

A concern that occupies the minds of many New Yorkers as they formulate strategies for estate planning documents is how best to handle children. This is compounded when the child has physical or mental issues that make their care exponentially important. If the child will need minor or major assistance to live his or her life after a parent or guardian is gone, this must be accounted for in the estate plan and done so cautiously and comprehensively. A key factor is structuring such documents as a special needs trust in a way that the person will maintain eligibility for benefits from the government.

Discussing Estate Planning Goals

There are topics that many Americans do not feel comfortable discussing, even with friends and family. Some topics are too personal, others are simply uncomfortable. Estate planning touches on two topic that many people have trouble discussing: money and death.

What are estate planning strategies to avoid probate?

Residents of New York State who are getting their estate planning documents in order might want to make the process as easy as possible for their heirs. Part of that is keeping costs in line. Since probate is expensive and can take a long time, many people who are formulating their estate plan will want to create strategies to avoid it. There are several ways to do this and it is important to understand them beforehand. They are the following: joint property ownership, death beneficiaries, having a revocable living trust and giving the assets as gifts.

Blended families and estate planning

There are many pitfalls for the inexperienced estate planner. Do-it-yourself planning can go from confusing to hopeless with a just few, relatively common wrinkles. One of the most common factors that can make estate planning complicated is the blended family.

Strategies for estate planning especially important for women

Crafting an estate plan is vital for everyone in New York State, but it is particularly important for women. There are a variety of reasons for this. It might not be an issue that takes up a great deal of their thoughts, but that does not make it any less imperative. Since women live an average of nearly five more years than men, it is wise to think about this in the context of estate planning strategies. The assets they have will need to last longer; they might have a different work history and income; and finances could be negatively affected by the decision to be a stay-at-home parent.

  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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