Estate Planning & Probate
Ensuring Your Family's Financial Security Today and Tomorrow
Estate Planning for Every New York Family
Some people think that "estate planning" is only for the very wealthy: nothing could be further from the truth. Estate planning is for:
- People just starting out in life: It can be as simple as a will, ensuring that loved ones receive property that you want them to receive after your death.
- Couples with children: It is important to name a guardian to care for your children if you are not there to do so.
- For anyone who owns a home: If you own a home or condo in New York, you have a very valuable asset. An estate plan will protect your home from excessive taxation so you can pass it along to family members.
- For families with elderly people who need care: An estate plan may include Medicaid planning to ensure you loved one's needs are met and they do not become impoverished.
What Should be Included in an Estate Plan?
Every estate plan will be different, but these tools are useful for everyone:
- A Last Will and Testament describing who will receive your things,
- A durable power of attorney naming someone you trust to manage your property and finances if you are unable to do so yourself
- A health care proxy naming someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot do so yourself
An estate plan may also include:
- A living will or advance medical directive to tell your loved ones what type of medical care you would want
- A revocable or irrevocable living trust, to transfer family assets while sheltering them from estate taxes
- Directions for funeral arrangements
- A plan for gifting family members with assets during your life
- A plan that ensures you qualify for Medicaid should you need that service
Can't I Write My Own Will?
Inheritance laws are always changing. While it is possible to draft a simple will, you must understand what makes a will effective or you run the risk that family members may challenge it. It can be done, but you may be doing yourself a disservice. By talking to an estate planning attorney, you may discover that a small investment up front can save you tax money now and thousands of dollars in estate taxes for your heirs. Contact Strazzullo Law Firm to schedule your free initial consultation.
Probate & Estate Administration
When a loved one has died, his or her estate will usually enter probate, a court process that wraps up the details of transferring property, paying debts, and paying estate taxes. Probate is a very detailed process. Many families like to work with a probate lawyer to ensure that these details are handled properly.
The probate lawyers at the Strazzullo Law Firm provide legal advice and practical assistance with organizing and accounting for the estate. Contact our office to ask for a free copy of our "Estate Book" to get you started in the process.