Wills and Estate Planning
WHY YOU NEED TO DO A WILL AND ESTATE PLANNING
The primary reason for making a will is to leave your property after you die to those you care about in the manner and proportions you choose. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed by a court appointed administrator through New York State Distribution Rules of Intestacy.
A lot of people do not think they have to do a will because they feel they do not own anything. So what is an Estate? Your Estate is all your “stuff” or “possessions.” That goes beyond owning a house or other real estate. Your “stuff” includes : cash, checking and savings accounts, CDs in bank, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, clothes, vehicles, business interests, life insurance, annuities, furniture(particularly antiques), jewelry, IRA, 401k, and other retirement or special accounts. Collectibles and collections are also included in this category. Timeshares are also part of your estate.
Another point to keep in mind is that in addition to what you have or own NOW, your estate may include other items that you don’t have in your possession, but will at some future point. Examples of these are: royalties, insurance or other settlements expected to be received at a later date, future inheritances, and loan repayments to you from third parties.
You can decide to leave what happens to your estate after you die to the government, and their complicated set of state laws, but chances are that if you are reading this, you want to protect your assets, and control how and to whom they are distributed. After all, you may have loved ones, such as a spouse, significant other, children, parents, grandchildren, who rely on you for financial support. What will happen to that financial support if you were to die tomorrow?
Estate taxes are also part of estate planning. Inheritance and death taxes you have to pay also play an important role. Please call our office today so we can advise you on the steps you can take to reduce the value of your estate and therefore reduce the amount of death taxes that you will have to pay.
I strongly recommend you do not think you have proper estate planning just because you went online or to a store and bought a generic fill in the blank will kit. Estate planning goes beyond that and not everything will fall into place after you die. Please call our office our office today so we can guide you every step of the way. Our estate planning strategies include but are not limited to the following:
- Power of Attorney (Gives authority to your agent to sell, dispose and transfer your property and assets during your lifetime)
- Living Wills and Health Care Proxy (Gives power to your agent to make health care decisions for you as per your wishes once you are not capable to do so)
- Summary of Assets and Liabilities
- Gifts and Estate taxes