Estate Planning

Through careful estate planning, an individual or couple can meet the following objectives:
1) Effect the transfer of his/her wealth in accordance with their wishes
2) Minimize estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes;
3) Minimize current income taxes; and
4) Provide for the client's personal care and management of the client's assets during disability or incapacity.

Some of the tools used to meet these objectives are the following:

Last Will and Testament                                                                  

A will, or last will and testament, is a legal document that formally states who you want to receive your estate and names an executor to settle your affairs.  Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the state of New York.

An individual should review their will every few years in case it needs to be revised based on significant changes in their circumstances.  For instance, additional children, divorce or remarriage may require changes in the will so that the individual's wishes will still be carried out upon their death.  In order for a will to be valid, there are strict requirements for the execution of that will.

A trust is a legal entity used to hold title to property for the benefit of one or more persons.  The person creating the trust is the grantor and the person holding title is the trustee, the persons intended to benefit from the trust are the beneficiaries.

There are many types of trusts: Testamentary Trusts, Inter Vivos or "Living" Trusts, Supplemental Needs Trust, Spendthrift Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts, to name a few.

An inter vivos or "living trust" is a trust created during the lifetime of the grantor and can be changed or revoked during their lifetime.  The grantor is typically the initial trustee as well as the initial beneficiary of the trust with his or her spouse and children as the ultimate beneficiaries of the trust.

Some reasons clients may prefer using a trust as opposed to a will may be to 1) avoid probate 2) privacy 3) ease of management of assets in the event of incapacity and 4) reduce estate expenses.

Power of Attorney:
A power of attorney is a document that allows you to choose who will manage your legal and financial affairs in the event you become disabled or incapacitated.

Health Care Proxies & Living Will:
A living will is a document that provides an individual's instructions regarding medical treatment where that individual cannot completely make those decisions for themselves.  The individual may include specifics as to what medical treatments the individual may want or refuse.

A healthcare proxy appoints an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the individual.

In New York State, there is no statutory authority for a living will like there is for Health Care Proxies.  As such, a living will must have an accompanying health care proxy.

For more information give me a call at (914) 315-7011

100 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 307 • Mamaroneck, New York 10543 • Telephone: 914-315-7011 • Fax: 914-459-1230 •