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Estate Planning Archives

Important estate planning documents beyond basic wills

New York State residents who take the necessary steps in drafting estate planning documents like wills might think they have done enough to handle most situations. However, that is frequently not the case. There are other documents that might be important and, depending on the strategies the person has in mind, could be even more vital than a will. Most people do not take their estate plan as seriously as they should and it can not only affect their loved ones, but it can affect the testator as many documents are related to end of life planning.

Why trusts are a wise step for New Yorkers' estate plans

A mistake that people in New York and across the country will often make is to believe that a lack of major wealth means that formulating an estate plan is not a priority. The reality is that everyone can use a comprehensive and well-designed estate plan specifically crafted to suit their needs. Since baby boomers have substantial assets and are growing older as a group, those assets - totaling an estimated $30 trillion - will be passed to their heirs soon. That requires a solid set of strategies to ensure those assets go where the testator wants. With that amount of wealth, a trust is often a wise step.

What are the basic requirements for drafting wills in New York?

When a New Yorker decides to take the necessary steps to create an estate plan and craft a will, the basics will sometimes get lost in the process. However, it is imperative to remember that there are some baseline legal requirements for legal wills. The person who creates the will - the testator - must be a certain age, must be of sound mind, and there must be witnesses to its signature. This must be remembered when drafting estate planning documents.

Estate planning strategies for end of life care and treatment

For New Yorkers who are thinking about strategies for their estate plan, a factor that is often overlooked is what will happen if they become incapacitated or ill. This should be considered as part of the process. An example of the importance of this came to light with the musician Tom Petty and his estate plan that allowed for him to be removed from life support as per his wishes. Those who are concerned about family disputes, whether a power of attorney is necessary, how a healthy proxy works and more should know about all their options that can fit in with their desires.

Collectors' tax implications can be lessened by tax changes

For New York residents who are taking steps to prepare for the future with an estate plan, having collectibles and striving to keep them in the family without burdening loved ones with onerous tax implications is one of the main considerations. Understanding the estate tax and how it can lead to complicated estate planning is imperative when organizing the documents. Having comprehensive strategies to shield loved ones is an integral part of a sound plan. One issue that is currently at the forefront is the president's proposed tax changes and how they might affect people who have valuable art collections.

Self-made people must make certain an estate plan is current

New Yorkers who have created their own wealth and independence through entrepreneurship are often guilty of failing to keep their estate planning documents current. Much like creating a business, drafting estate planning documents is often viewed in the now with the future a consideration, but something to think about later. In some instances, later is pushed forward and pushed forward until the estate plan is hopelessly out of date. People who are vigilant about their estate plan have a better chance of passing on their assets to heirs and avoiding family disputes.

Drafting estate planning documents with the estate tax in mind

New Yorkers who are crafting an estate plan will want to ensure that they create a document that prepares for every eventuality. One area that is constantly and inevitably changing is the political situation. Having a well-rounded estate plan should account for most eventualities when it comes to changes in the law. With a republican president and a congress controlled by republicans, the estate tax has again come to the forefront with the attempts to repeal it. This must be thought about beforehand.

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.

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.

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.

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Weinstein & Randisi
290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

Toll Free: 800-768-1780
Phone: 585-310-1578
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