Understanding Estate Planning in New York
Our highly knowledgeable attorneys will walk you through the following topics:
Estate Planning Basics
Shrewd estate planning ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes. The topics we cover in this section include:
- Goal Evaluation
- Your Asset Inventory
- Will and Trust Preparation
- Charitable Gifts
Navigating Wills and Trusts
A will is one of the most common estate planning tools available.
It is a vehicle to name one or multiple people to manage your estate and facilitate the transfer of your property after your passing. They can also be used to appoint guardians for minors if both parents should pass away. If you pass without a will (intestate), the courts assume control of your estate and distribute it according to government statutes.
Trusts are another tool that control how and when your assets are distributed. We often recommend them for estate-planning clients because they protect your assets, lower estate taxes, and avoid the drawn-out probate process.
In our estate planning guide, we explore different types of wills and trusts and provide guidance for incorporating them into your estate plan.
Advanced Planning Strategies
Advanced planning strategies help minimize or even eliminate the tax burden for your heirs, retain the bulk of your assets, and protect those assets from creditors and other third parties.
The guide explains these strategies and points out the risks, benefits, and alternatives of each for you to consider.
Ultimately, your estate plan is as unique as you are. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that aligns with every client’s needs.
Think of our 2023 New York Estate Planning Guide as a jumping-off point to discuss your goals with your New York estate planning attorney. If you decide to work with us, you can expect personal attention and guidance to help you achieve your goals and protect your livelihood.
Avoiding the Estate Tax Cliff
Depending on the overall value of your estate, estate taxes can be significant. Specifically, the estate tax cliff in New York impacts taxpayers with estates that exceed the current exemption amount ($6,580,000.)
Estates that go over this “cliff” are penalized with substantial estate taxes. However, there are strategies and tools to reduce this tax obligation and even avoid estate taxes entirely. The best of these options are covered in the estate planning guide.
Other topics covered in the 2023 New York Estate Planning Guide include:
- Planning for incapacity: the importance of a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy
- Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains: a legally binding document that conveys post-burial instructions and other post-death wishes
- Probate: probate and non-probate assets, and what to expect from the probate process
- Planning for different family structures: addressing the unique needs of unmarried couples, and family with elders and special needs individuals