New York Trusts and Estates Attorneys

Whatever stage of life you are in, proper estate planning today gives you and your loved ones peace of mind tomorrow. Some of the reasons why proper estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of age, health or wealth, are:

  • Puts you in charge of your assets;

  • Provides for loved ones if you die or become incapacitated;

  • Allows you to nominate a guardian to raise your minor children if both you and your spouse (or child’s other parent) pass away or become incapacitated;

  • Provides for transfer of assets to family without going through probate process;

  • Reduces or eliminates any estate tax;

  • Allows you to decide whether your beneficiaries should receive your assets directly, or whether the assets should be placed in trust and distributed based on conditions that you designate, such as age, need, behavior and education and allows you to select the trustee to manage your assets;

  • • Provides for charitable bequests/planned giving either during your lifetime or at your death, which could provide a stream of income for you during your life, allow you to earn higher investment yield, or reduce your capital gains or estate taxes;

  • Permits you to state your desires regarding extraordinary medical care during your lifetime if you become ill;

  • Allows you to make your wishes known if you are later unable to manage your own affairs due to an illness, accident, or dementia;

  • Allows you to designate a trusted family member or friend to handle your personal affairs, handle your finances and make your healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so in the future; and

  • Permits you to make reasoned choices before an emergency occurs that will help ensure your wishes are honored and significantly reduce stress on your family.

We will assess your family and financial situation, attempt to understand your estate planning goals and develop a comprehensive strategy to help achieve those goals. We will listen carefully and explain your options, so you can make informed decisions. The estate planning tools we will consider are:

  • Wills – Express your wishes regarding the disposition or transfer of assets after you die. A Will also lets you name a guardian to care for your minor children if both parents pass away.
  • Trusts – Essentially a detailed set of instructions expressing your wishes for management of assets during your lifetime and transfer of those assets at your passing. When established in conjunction with a Will, a Trust may allow for the distribution of an estate without having to go through the probate process.
  • Term Trusts – Allows you to postpone distribution or distribute assets in stages to your heirs. These are useful when a beneficiary may not be old or mature enough to handle his or her own finances.
  • Special Needs Trust – Provides for the financial support for a disabled child or spouse without losing their eligibility for governmental benefits, such as Medicaid.
  • Powers of Attorney (Durable) – This allows you to designate a person to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf, in the event you are unable to do so.
  • Advance Health Care Directives – Also known as a Living Will, these allow you to express your wishes regarding end-of-life decisions regarding life-sustaining treatments or procedures.
  • Health Care Surrogate – Appoints a trusted family member or close friend to consult with your physicians and make medical decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to decide for yourself due to temporary or permanent illness or incapacity.

A well-crafted estate plan should provide for your loved ones in an effective and efficient manner by avoiding guardianship during your lifetime, probate at death, estate taxes and unnecessary delays. Once your estate plan is in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have provided for yourself and your family in case the worst happens.

Contact Us Regarding Your Estate Planning Needs

Whether you are in need of complex estate planning or a simple will, we are experienced estate planning attorneys and can prepare the appropriate estate plan for you. At Barrows Levy PLLC, you will receive the individual care and information you need to make a decision regarding every aspect of your estate. This process involves evaluating your financial assets and goals, planning for health care and providing sound legal advice while thoroughly explaining appropriate strategies. You will have a trust and/or estate plan that is customized for you and the needs of your loved ones.

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