Estate planning is something that people often put on the back burner, and there are many reasons for this procrastination. One of them is the simple fact that it can be hard to know where to begin. There are various different estate planning documents that can be used, and the matter can be confusing.
To demystify things, you could sit down and discuss your estate planning objectives with a licensed attorney. In this post, we will look at some general questions that you may want to ask at the consultation.
I’m not rich. I should use a last will to state my final wishes, right?
A last will can be used as an asset transfer vehicle. However, you do have other options, even if you are not extraordinarily wealthy.
When a will is used, the executor must admit the will to probate. This a legal process, and it can be time-consuming and expensive. The heirs to the estate must wait out the probate process before they can receive their inheritances, and the amount of the inheritances can be shaved down by the costs that are accumulated during probate.
It is possible to proactively implement probate avoidance strategies.
How would I avoid probate?
There are a number of different ways to get assets into the hands of your heirs outside of probate. One very popular probate avoidance tool is the revocable living trust.
You retain control of the assets while you are living when you establish this type of trust. After you die, the trustee that you name in the trust declaration can distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate according to your wishes.
I’m not comfortable giving everyone lump sum inheritances. Can I provide for each person in a different way?
The answer to this question is yes. An ideal estate plan will take all of the circumstances into account, and each respective person in the family will receive his or her inheritance in the optimal manner.
Financial matters are obviously important, but is there anything else I should know?
A well constructed estate plan should address the possibility of latter life incapacity. Many people become unable to make sound decisions late in their lives.
Your estate plan can include an incapacity component. Through the execution of a durable power of attorney, you can name a financial decision maker who could manage your financial affairs in the event of your incapacity.
With a health care proxy you could name a health care representative.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are ready to take action, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can send us a message through our contact page to set up an appointment: Queens NY Estate Planning Attorneys