Does Everyone Need a Will?
Having a valid will makes the probate process simpler and can avoid prolonged legal disputes. The purpose of estate planning and wills is to ensure that the testator’s estate plan and goals are achieved, to provide for surviving family members, and to minimize taxes. Estate planning documents such as a Last Will and Testament and advanced directives such as a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy are needed to uncertainty and litigation in Family Court or Surrogate’s Court. Other important documents include a Living Trust, a Living Will, and a Power of Attorney.
Estate planning and wills can involve various degrees of complexity. We can help you achieve personal, family, and tax objectives. You may only require a simple will. You may need a testamentary trust provision in your will to protect minor children or those with a disability. A will may also leave assets to a preexisting inter vivos trust.
The fundamental purpose of estate planning and preparing a Last Will is to avoid disputes. A will won’t always prevent a prolonged probate process, but leaving a Will reduces the risk of the estate going to unintended relatives. If a person dies without a Will, state laws govern who inherits your estate.
Are there aspects of estate planning not subject to my Last Will?
Yes. The Last Will is going to control the disposition of items that are held in the name of the decedent alone. Jointly owned funds, real estate, or items such as insurance, which have a specific beneficiary, will pass directly to such named person and will generally not be subject to terms of the Last Will.
Planning a New York estate requires time and effort, and the creation of an effective plan requires an experienced estate attorney. Some funds or real estate may be owned jointly with another person, such as a spouse. In certain cases, bank accounts may be owned individually but have a person named on the account as a designated beneficiary—these accounts are commonly known as “Totten Trusts.” Upon death, the bank funds are paid directly to the beneficiary outside of the estate. There are also assets that may have a designated beneficiary such as life insurance and retirement funds such as an individual retirement fund or 401(k) plan.
The Law Office of Jeffrey Weinstein is here to help you:
As estate planning lawyers in New York City, we have over 26 years of experience advising clients in the creation and implementation of plans that effectively express their personal desires regarding the disposition and protection of assets while providing potential tax advantages and security for family beneficiaries. We understand that contemplating your own mortality and planning for your loved one’s future can be a difficult task, and that is why we are dedicated to providing you the best possible counseling for you and your family. Protecting your assets is what The Law Offices of Jeffrey Weinstein do best!