Helping New York Residents Preserve Their Legacy
Are you concerned about how to preserve and maintain the financial security and personal wellbeing of those you care about after you pass away? Do you find yourself trying to figure out what the best use of the property and assets you accumulated throughout your lifetime is? If so, you might want to consider preparing an estate plan to ensure your possessions and wealth are in the right hands after you have departed from the earth.
At Letterio & Haug, LLP, our talented and dedicated legal team has the background and experience to help make sure your future goals and wishes are respected after your death. We have spent years practicing in areas such as family law, real estate, and New York state law on estates. As a result, you count on us as a key resource for achieving your goals and advancing your legal interests.
A thoughtfully planned estate plan provides you with a comprehensive roadmap for protecting the property and assets you have acquired over the course of your life, so the people for whose benefit you want your estate to pass will benefit from it, according to your wishes.
When you pass away, New York’s probate courts are responsible for overseeing how the assets and possessions you left behind are treated in your absence. The court will rely on your estate plan documents to determine how to divide up your wealth and property in accordance with New York probate law.
In general, a comprehensive estate plan is comprised of several legal instruments that serve as evidence and instructions for how to dispose of your possessions in case some physical or mental disability prevents you from personally telling everyone what your intent was.
The documents and legal instruments often employed in an effective estate plan include:
- Wills: We can help you develop, plan, and draft a carefully crafted Last Will and Testament that accurately represents what your intentions are for distributing your estate.
- Powers of Attorney: An effective estate plan typically involves granting someone the authority to make legally-binding decisions on your behalf.
- Advance Directives: A carefully composed estate plan may utilize documents that represent your wishes in the event you become physically and mentally incapacitated. Advance directives demonstrate your intent when it comes to medical treatment, such as life-saving medical interventions.
Our attorneys at Letterio & Haug, LLP have a sophisticated understanding regarding the essential components of an effective estate plan, and each element operates under New York law, allowing us to engineer a strategically advantageous and practical estate plan that caters to your individual needs.
Comprehensive Estate Planning Services
When it comes to designating your personal wealth for securing the financial welfare of the people you care about most, you need an experienced and dependable advisor who is intimately familiar with the legal and financial complexities of estate planning. At Letterio & Haug, LLP, you can benefit from the experience and knowledge of our estate planning lawyers in Hudson Valley. We will help you create an estate plan that not only promotes your legacy according to your personal goals and vision, but also prepares a strategy for unanticipated circumstances with the potential to thwart your intentions.
You can count on us to provide you with the following legal services:
- Reviewing pertinent financial and legal documents
- Counseling you about the legal options available to you
- Guiding you through the essential components of your estate plan
- Monitoring legal developments that may require you to revise your estate plan
Benefits of Having an Estate Plan in New York
Having an estate plan in New York can offer several significant benefits:
- Reducing Taxable Income: An estate plan can help reduce your taxable income during your lifetime, which can directly affect the value of your estate. This could potentially leave more assets for your beneficiaries.
- Control Over Property Distribution: Creating a will, which is a key component of an estate plan, gives individuals the ability to leave property and possessions to their chosen beneficiaries.
- Wealth Creation and Preservation: Estate planning can be seen as an extension of the financial planning that families already do to create and preserve wealth.
- Understanding Tax Implications: Effective estate planning can help you understand and navigate various tax considerations such as estate taxes, gift tax, and income tax.
- Financial Security: Having a living will or trust can help build secure financial futures for individuals and their families.
- Avoiding Probate: One advantage of having a trust is that it keeps your assets away from a probate court after your death, which can save time and money. New York offers a probate shortcut for "small estates," making it easier for survivors to transfer property.
- Minimizing the Probate Process: An estate plan can minimize the probate process and its expenses, delays, and loss of privacy. It can also facilitate charitable giving and business succession.
What Is Probate?
When a person dies (becomes a decedent), their estate goes into probate. During probate, a personal representative or executor appointed by the decedent in their will works with the probate court to ensure the decedent's last wishes are fulfilled.
If an individual dies without making a will or a testator (a will author) fails to name an executor or personal representative, state intestacy laws go into effect. Intestacy determines how the state handles the affairs of an individual who dies without a will or executor. Typically, the probate court in charge of the case will appoint one of the decedent's heirs to act as an executor for the case.
Our estate planning attorneys will work with you to ensure you have an executor or personal representative in place to abet any concerns about the probate process for your estate.
Probate can be a stressful, drawn-out affair depending on the decedent's estate plan. During probate, relatives or other individuals with interest in the decedent's estate have the opportunity to challenge the validity of the will. Creditors also have the opportunity to seize assets from the state to repay any outstanding debts owed by the decedent.
Our New York estate planning attorneys can help make probate easier for your loved ones by helping you establish a comprehensive will and trust that will stand up to scrutiny.
Additionally, we'll help you identify any outstanding financial circumstances, such as debts, that could prevent beneficiaries from receiving the property you wish to award them during the estate planning process.
Put your estate in the hands of experienced attorneys you can trust. We'll work with you to protect your legacy and ensure you put together the ideal estate plan for your needs and circumstances.
Consult Our Hudson Valley Estate Planning Lawyers at Letterio & Haug, LLP
Are you seeking the advice and counsel of a professional attorney with experience in developing a comprehensive estate plan? If so, you should reach out to our estate planning attorneys in Hudson Valley. We offer personalized legal services that consider the unique aspects of your case, so you can rest assured that the things and people you care about most are in good hands.
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