As an affluent area within Nassau County, North Hempstead is home to many high-earning individuals with a variety of assets and property to their name. With this level of prosperity comes legacy, and many people are concerned about how to pass their assets down to their loved ones after they pass away. As North Hempstead estate planning attorneys, we work with clients to secure their legacy through careful and strategic estate planning. To learn more about what sets us apart, consider contacting our New Hyde Park office at 516-908-8689 today.
Securing Your Legacy Through Estate Planning
Most are familiar with the term estate planning, but what exactly does this entail? What do estate planning attorneys serving North Hempstead do? Essentially, estate planning refers to the legal steps taken to manage your financial and personal matters in the event that you pass away or become incapacitated and unable to make decisions. Through an estate plan, it is possible to specify who will receive the assets and property you leave behind, how your children will be cared for, and how you would like medical and end of life decisions to be made.
An estate planning attorney is responsible for ensuring that the necessary legal measures have been put in place to protect your family, assets, and property. An experienced attorney will take the time to review your financial information and understand your long-term goals in order to make informed decisions about your estate. In turn, they help secure your legacy and preserve your family’s estate, even after you are gone.
The Benefits of Estate Planning
There are a range of benefits associated with estate planning and most people utilize estate planning tools for their financial benefits. The advantages of estate planning depend largely on your goals, but some of the common reasons why people seek legal guidance when planning for their estate include:
- Avoiding probate. When a person dies intestate, meaning they passed away with an estate plan in place, their estate must go through the probate process. The probate process is time-consuming, lengthy, and can be quite expensive. It also removes all privacy from the estate distribution process. While small estates do not need to go through probate, those individuals with larger estates are subject to the probate process. Preparing an estate plan that specifically avoids probate helps to simplify the distribution process, allowing your loved ones to receive their inheritance as quickly and easily as possible.
- Reducing taxes. New York State and federal taxes can place a great burden on your loved ones as they receive their inheritance. This is specifically true for large estates. New York States uses a graduated tax rate for estates, meaning the larger the estate, the greater the tax burden. Moreover, most inheritance is subject to income taxes. Estate planning is the only way for an individual to structure their assets and property in such a way that taxes are reduced or avoided altogether.
- Specifying guardianship preferences. Specific estate planning tools allow you to state exactly how you would like young children to be cared for in your absence. In this way, you are able to name the guardians of any minor children in the event that both you and the children’s other parent passes away.
- Dictating medical care decisions. Through estate planning, it is possible to dictate how you would like medical care decisions and end of life care to be managed in the event of your incapacitation. Therefore, if you are unable to make these decisions on your own, you can rest assured that a person of your choosing is making decisions according to your wishes.
What Are the Parts of an Effective Estate Plan?
The components of an estate plan depend entirely on your specific financial and personal circumstances. In general, however, there are three main parts of an effective estate plan, which include:
- Last will and testament
- Living will and healthcare proxy
- Power of attorney
These are key elements of an effective estate plan, but this list is far from exhaustive. For many families, additional estate planning tools are necessary. This is where comprehensive estate planning becomes an essential practice.
The Importance of a Comprehensive Estate Plan
A comprehensive estate plan takes into consideration your specific personal finances, family structure, and long-term goals. This is quite different from one-size-fits-all estate planning, which is a common practice in the legal industry. At Davidov Law Group, we work closely with our clients to ensure that their estate plan is comprehensive, reflects their wishes, and protects their legacy.
Some of the additional elements that may be included in a comprehensive estate plan include:
- Family Limited Liability Partnerships
- Insurance planning
- Charitable planning
- LTC planning
- Final expenses
- Retirement account planning (see the New York State Secure Choice Savings Program Act)
- Buy/sell and succession planning for businesses
These tools are used both individually and in cooperation with each other to create a legal shield for your assets, income, and property. Depending on your financial portfolio and specific needs, different forms of trusts, wills, or other planning strategies may be applicable. Consider speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney serving North Hempstead to learn which tools may be ideal for you.
How Do I Identify the Right Estate Planning Attorneys for My Goals?
Identifying the right estate planning attorneys serving North Hempstead is critical to meeting your long-term financial goals and preserving your family’s legacy. You should feel at ease knowing that they have you and your family’s needs in mind with every decision they make. Meeting with an estate planning lawyer for the first time can be daunting, but it is important to be strategic about your decision to hire legal counsel. The following questions can help guide you through this decision:
- Does the law firm have a certified financial planner on the team who can provide a greater depth of knowledge on complex financial matters?
- What are the different estate planning tools that the firm has used to protect the assets and property of their clients? Do they take a holistic view of estate planning to ensure effectiveness?
- What is their experience with estate taxes? How exactly can they help you mitigate these taxes?
- Do they have a demonstrated breadth of knowledge and experience in estate planning matters?
You should feel comfortable with your attorney. Personal matters are often at the forefront of estate planning decisions, and it is key that you can communicate freely with your attorney. It is important that you feel confident in their skills and experience, and that they will work to uphold your goals at every step of the estate planning process.
While it is common for individuals to have a foundational knowledge on the elements of an estate plan, understanding how to leverage different estate planning tools is less clear. For this reason, Ilana and Michael Davidov published a book titled Keeping it in Your Family – Protecting Your Family and Leaving a Lasting Legacy, which can help you understand which estate planning tools would be most effective to reach your specific goals.
Contact Davidov Law Group to Protect Your Family’s Legacy Today
Developing a tailored estate plan is the first step to safeguarding your assets and protecting your family’s legacy. We understand the hard work that goes into establishing wealth and setting your family up for long-term success. It is never too soon to begin protecting your assets. To begin the process, contact our team of experienced estate planning attorneys serving North Hempstead at 516-908-8689 today.