Regardless of the size of their estates, New Yorkers of just about any age are encouraged to do estate planning. For various reasons, financial advisers suggest that individuals should start with establishing wills and consider additional options that can reduce probate fees. Depending on the value of the assets, state and federal estate taxes might apply, along with probate fees.
Estate planning is also essential for anyone who wants to protect his or her assets. It could protect funds from spending-down situations to qualify for Medicaid. Advisors may also suggest comprehensive insurance to cover events such as car accidents, thereby safeguarding assets and preserving them for loved ones.
A third reason for doing estate planning is management and control. With estate plans in place, a person can ensure that his or her asset distribution wishes will be honored. The dynamics of each family is unique, and proper planning will guide surviving loved ones through the who, what, when and where after the testator's death.
A New York estate planning attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance regarding wills and other estate plans. The lawyer can explain the intricacies of applicable federal and state laws. This will allow the client to make informed decisions about the designation of his or her assets. Once essential planning is done, the attorney can assist with occasional reviews of estate plans to ensure they remain current and relevant. Life changes such as new births, divorces or remarriages will affect existing wills, and modifications might be necessary.
Source: Forbes, "The 3 Reasons Why People Do Estate Planning", Joel Johnson, May 21, 2018