Estate Planning Law

Why should I pay a lawyer to prepare a Will instead of preparing my own Will that I can download off the Internet?

You get what you pay for. Often those forms are not specific to New York State. You will end up with a signed Will form which, if not properly executed, may not be legally valid. A one-size-fits all form does not capture the legal expertise that goes into estate planning; that includes reviewing your assets (probate and non-probate) and coordinating your Will, trusts, beneficiary designations, and proper titling of your accounts, and taking estate and income tax issues into consideration, working with you, your accountant and your financial advisor to achieve a comprehensive estate plan. You will also have access to periodic review of your estate planning when tax laws change or when documents need to be updated due to statutory revisions. Finally, the cost of probating your “form Will” could be very costly if a judge has to resolve issues or the Will or its execution is contested.

Health Care Proxy

A Health Care Proxy form gives an individual the legal authority to make medical decisions for you should you ever become incapacitated. If you leave no formal written instructions your health care or whom you would prefer to have making decisions pertaining to your health care, it may become up to the Courts if your family cannot agree. Our experienced attorneys can draft a Health Care Proxy form which encompasses issues such as who will be making health care decisions, organ donation, and your specific requests regarding intravenous feeding and life support.

Last Will and Testament

You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you comfort. Our attorneys analyze your estate and formulate the best strategy for transferring your assets to minimize tax dues, for establishing guardianship for your children, for supporting personal philanthropic causes and for protecting your loved ones. As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your Last Will and Testament throughout your life. Our attorneys can update your Last Will and Testament so as to address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.

Power Of Attorney

A Power of Attorney form gives an individual the legal authority to make decisions for you should you ever become incapacitated. If you leave no formal written instructions about how you would like your finances managed, it may become up to the Courts if your family cannot agree. Our experienced attorneys can draft a Power of Attorney form which encompasses issues such as making gifts of money, making financial decisions, and recommending a guardian.

Probate

When a loved one passes away, it may be a confusing process to distribute their belongings, even if they passed leaving a Last Will and Testament. Some estates may be required to go through proceedings in Surrogate's Court, where as others may not need to do so. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with distributing, probating, and closing an estate.

Estate Planning Law

  •  
    Why should I pay a lawyer to prepare a Will instead of preparing my own Will that I can download off the Internet?

    You get what you pay for. Often those forms are not specific to New York State. You will end up with a signed Will form which, if not properly executed, may not be legally valid. A one-size-fits all form does not capture the legal expertise that goes into estate planning; that includes reviewing your assets (probate and non-probate) and coordinating your Will, trusts, beneficiary designations, and proper titling of your accounts, and taking estate and income tax issues into consideration, working with you, your accountant and your financial advisor to achieve a comprehensive estate plan. You will also have access to periodic review of your estate planning when tax laws change or when documents need to be updated due to statutory revisions. Finally, the cost of probating your “form Will” could be very costly if a judge has to resolve issues or the Will or its execution is contested.

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    Why is it important to execute a Health Care Proxy?
    Because the person you name in your Health Care Proxy as your agent can make health care decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself.
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    What is the purpose of estate planning?

    Estate planning seeks to ensure that if you die or become disabled, your personal and financial matters are handled according to your objectives, while minimizing the financial and emotional cost.

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    What happens if I have not executed a durable Power of Attorney and I become incapacitated?
    Your family must undertake an expensive guardianship proceeding in court to get someone appointed to act as your guardian, who will have authority to handle your affairs.
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    What happens if I die without executing a Will? Is it true that New York State will take my assets if I die without a Will?
    New York State imposes a default estate plan for you; it is called the law of intestacy and the statutes dictate that your closest relatives will inherit your assets.