What is Estate Planning?
You may believe that the term “estate planning” refers to managing the affairs of the wealthy. However, everyone has an estate. Your estate is everything you own, including a house, car, boat, investments, or personal possessions. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you own; it’s all yours – until you pass away.
Are you concerned about what people or organizations will receive your assets? If you are, then you need to provide instructions stating who you want to receive your property or assets, what you want them to receive, and when they will receive it. Of course, you want this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.
That is the basis of estate planning; to memorialize now, who you want to receive your assets, in what amounts, under what conditions, and when to receive them. Doing this now makes it easier for all involved later.
New York Estate Planning Goes Beyond Asset Distribution
In addition to ensuring the orderly distribution of your assets, proper estate planning may (and in many cases, should) also:
• Minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees
• Name guardians for minor children
• Establish a trust for a minor so that someone can exercise fiscal responsibility until the child becomes independent
• Provide for family members with special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits
• Protect a child from their own spending habits or protect against an unscrupulous child-in-law
• Deal with business succession
Your physical well-being is at least as important as your financial comfort; therefore, estate planning should also include planning for health. It can provide legal documentation to protect you if you become incompetent or ill and can’t direct your own medical care or financial decisions. Estate planning is crucial for peace of mind because it allows you to minimize disputes between your beneficiaries, minimize applicable taxes for your heirs, and choose the right people to help you make financial and medical decisions when you can’t.
New York Estate Planning Needs are Unique
While everyone’s estate planning needs differ, estate planning can help families prepare for both the present and the future through the use of basic documents such as last wills and testaments, powers of attorney, living wills, and health care proxies, as well as more advanced documents such as irrevocable and revocable trusts. Our firm will listen to your individual estate planning goals and devise a plan based on your goals.
The Law Office of Craig A. Andreoli, P.C. concentrates exclusively on elder law & Medicaid planning, estate planning, and probate & estate administration.
Our office location is in Islandia, with availability in Westhampton Beach, NY, in Suffolk County, but we also practice in Nassau, Queens, Kings, New York, Richmond, and Westchester Counties. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss how we may be of service to you.