Bronx Estate Planning
While the median age in the Bronx is 31, nearly 20% of the population of this diverse borough is ages 45 to 64. Over 10% of the population is 65 years of age or older. It is never too soon to start thinking about drafting a will and planning for the possibility that you may one day be incapacitated. There are numerous issues to be considered when planning your estate. To whom would you want your property to be distributed when you pass? Who should look after your minor children? Are there arrangements that can reduce the complexities of probate encountered by family members after you are gone? Jules Haas is a knowledgeable Bronx estate planning lawyer who can help you make decisions about what should happen to your property and other concerns associated with disability and death. He has more than 35 years of experience developing estate planning documents to carry out each client’s wishes.Planning Your Estate and Protecting the Future of Your Loved Ones
The most basic aspect of estate planning is determining to whom your property will pass upon your death. These decisions are memorialized in a last will and testament. If you do not create a will, your property will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy after going through the administration process. Generally, an estate is divided between a spouse and children. If none of these survives you, other family members may become entitled to your estate. Probate is a process that can be time-consuming for family members after a loved one passes away. Additionally, by preparing a will, you can avoid having your property pass according to intestacy rules.
A will prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney in the Bronx permits you to give specific assets to specific people and reduces the chances that a disgruntled family member will challenge the validity of the will in a will contest. If you are not legally married or in a relationship that is not traditional, and you do not have a valid will, your partner will not be able to inherit under the laws of intestacy. A valid will allows you to ensure that your property goes to your partner and other loved ones at your death. You should be aware that in New York, a surviving spouse has the legal right to claim part of your estate, even if your will does not leave him or her anything. You can also name an executor and ask that the court appoint a guardian of your choosing. When you do not have a will, the court appoints the estate administrator, and the person chosen may not be somebody whom you would choose.
Some people retain a Bronx estate planning attorney to create a living trust in addition to creating a will. There are various types of trusts that are used for different purposes. A living trust can be used to avoid probate or allow for property management in the event of incapacity.
When planning your estate, you should also consider the possibility that you may develop a disability. Many people are disabled by conditions associated with advanced age. While you are well, you may want to create advance directives, such as a durable power of attorney for finances. Advance directives can also provide for future health care decisions in case you cannot make decisions for yourself. They can include a health care proxy form, a living will, and a do not resuscitate order. Although it may be uncomfortable to think about the issues related to advance directives, it is important to think through whether you want health care providers to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other emergency procedures if you stop breathing on your own. In New York, you are entitled to accept or reject medical treatment, including procedures that would prolong your life, such as mechanical respiration. Meanwhile, a durable power of attorney for finances empowers somebody to take care of your financial affairs if you become disabled such that you can no longer handle them. If you do not have advance directives, your relatives may need to obtain a guardianship from the court in the event that you become incapacitated.Discuss Your Needs with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in the Bronx
Attorney Jules Haas works tirelessly toward achieving client satisfaction and can help you craft a strategy that protects your interests and desires as well as the future security of your family. He is familiar with the full range of estate planning instruments that can preserve your assets and articulate your wishes, and he can explore your specific situation to determine which tools may work best for you. Call him for all of your estate and guardianship issues. Contact us at (212) 355-2575 or through our online form.