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Procrastination prevents some from drafting trusts and wills

It is not uncommon for people in Upstate New York to put estate planning on the back burner. Some procrastinate, while others do not want to consider their mortality, and still others might do estate planning without professional guidance. Seeking legal counsel can prevent the many basic mistakes made by people who do not understand the intricacies of trusts, wills, powers of attorney and other estate planning documents.

Do unmarried couples need trusts and wills?

Many couples in New York state choose to remain unmarried for a variety of reasons. They might have financial or personal reasons not to get legally married. Those who have children from a previous marriage or relationship may fear that a new marriage might affect the inheritance of their children. However, those are matters that can be addressed in trusts, and unmarried couples are advised to make all their wishes known by executing estate planning documents.

How will the Secure Act affect wills and trusts?

The Secure Act was signed into law on Dec. 20. It offers expanded rules and incentives that aim to benefit part-time employees, and it will enable the owners of small firms easier ways to provide retirement plans to workers. The signing of this Act also affects the way people in New York and across the country deal with wills, trusts and other estate planning concerns.

Don't lose sight of digital assets when drafting wills and trusts

Everything related to computers and the internet play essential roles in the lives of people nationwide, including New York. For that reason, it is crucial not to lose sight of digital assets when drafting estate plans to deal with wills and trusts. Surviving loved ones will need access to essential documents and information related to digital assets.

Trusts or wills -- which are best to ensure proper care for pets?

For many New York families, their pets are like children. When they consider estate planning, they naturally include their beloved pets in those plans to ensure proper care. Are wills the most appropriate way to address these issues, or should they establish pet trusts instead?

Ed Norton files premises liability claim after fire on movie set

After several lawsuits were filed against Ed Norton's production company, Class 5, the actor and director now claim that the owner of the New York building in which a fire broke out last March is responsible. This premises liability lawsuit follows a fire that broke out in the basement of the building where filming on "Motherless Brooklyn" took place. It led to a firefighter's death and severe property damage.

Trusts are like specialized tools added to a toolbox

Investors in New York might know how they would prefer to have their assets distributed after death, but they might have questions about the most appropriate way to plan it. One way to do this is by adding trusts to their estate planning, similar to adding a specialized tool to a toolbox for a specific purpose. The specifications of an irrevocable trust cannot be modified, but a revocable trust can be modified as often as the grantor wants during his or her lifetime.

Revocable trusts: Valuable in planning for blended families

The circumstances and dynamics of each New York family are unique, and so are their estate planning requirements. Fortunately, tools such as revocable trusts are available to meet the needs of all. They are particularly useful for blended families in which both parties come into the marriage with their assets and children from previous relationships, and children might be born in the new union.

Trusts might be the ideal protection for inheritances in divorce

With many marriages in New York and other states ending in divorce, it is only natural for parents to want to protect their children's inheritances from being subject to property division in a divorce settlement. Some parents find that establishing trusts is the most appropriate way to do this. Including a trust in estate planning can provide peace of mind to a parent who wants his or her child to have something on which to fall back if the marriage should end.

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