What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning includes organizing your affairs so that you can maximize the benefits of your assets and that your loved ones can benefit from your assets after your death. It also reduces or eliminates your estate’s tax burden. It can also help you pass on your assets without going through Probate or paying additional fees.
What Does an Estate Plan Include?
An estate plan drafted by a experienced NY estate planning attorney would include:
- Revocable or Irrevocable trust
- Living will and healthcare proxy
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Final instructions of your preference
When Should You Review Your Estate Plan?
If you already have an estate plan, it should be reviewed every 3 years or upon a life changing event. Certain conditions or circumstances may change over the years. These life changing events can be:
- Birth, death, marriage, adoption, divorce, disability
- Purchase or sale of a business
- Change in assets
- Change in your overall net worth
What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
If you die intestate (without a will), your state’s laws and regulations will determine who will receive your assets by default. These laws vary from one state to another. Although assets are typically distributed to the spouse and children, the legislature determines how much of your estate a family member may receive. If you die without a will in NY, the first $50,000 and 1/2 of your estate goes to your wife and the rest to your children. By creating a will, you have the opportunity to alter your state’s default plan to meet your personal needs.
What Does a Will Do?
A will allows you to exercise control and distribute certain personal assets and property at the time of your death. Generally, a will allows you to dispose property in any manner that you choose. Wills can vary in complexity and can be used to achieve a wide variety of family and tax objectives. A simple will provides the complete distribution of your assets. A testamentary trust will creates one or more trusts once you pass away.
What Assets Can I Transfer Into My Trust?
You can transfer both real or personal property into a trust with the exception of the IRA plans and Life Insurance policies. Although you cannot transfer your IRAs into the trust there are other ways to ensure that the IRA funds will be received by the beneficiaries even if the beneficiaries are minor children. A professional estate planning lawyer will go over the process with you in great detail and complete all transfers into the trust in accordance with applicable state law. The Law Office of Inna Fershteyn and Associates, P.C. represents clients in their estate planning even if the property is located in NY, NJ, PA, CT, FL, CA, WA and other states.
Should I Avoid Probate?
Probate is the process of providing a Surrogates court with evidence to uphold the validity of the deceased person’s Will. In essence, the court oversees the process of identifying the deceased person’s property, identifying the proper heirs, distributing the property to them and paying debts to the creditors. Overall, the probate process is complicated, expensive, and time-consuming; if you need further help with your final decision on whether to avoid probate please don’t hesitate, Contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at 718-333-2395.
What Does My Will Actually Do?
A will is an important legal document that declares who will receive and manage your estate after you pass away. Your estate consists of anything from things as large as real estate or personal vehicles, down to photographs and family heirlooms.
What Is a Living Trust?
A living trust is a way to own your assets during your life time and then giving your assets to your children when you pass away without going to probate court and bring all of your assets together into one plan, provide maximum privacy, is valid in every state, and can be changed by you at any time.
Your estate planning attorney together with you will review your estate and will determine the best plan for you.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Having a Living Trust?
There are no disadvantages to a having a living trust. You still have complete control and access to all of the assets in your trust. You also have the right to make any changes to your living trust while you are alive and competent.
Can I Act As My Own Trustee?
You can act as your own trustee if you are competent to handle your own finances. There is no legal reason for why you can’t be your own trustee. If you are married, both you and your spouse can act as co-trustees.
For more detailed explanation about Trusts,
please call (718) 333-2395
and schedule an individual Trust and Estate consultation.