Brooklyn is a borough of New York City known for its diversity. The median age is 33. As of 2010, 21% of Brooklyn's inhabitants were ages 45 to 64, while 12% were 65 years of age or older. Although it is common for people not to want to think about late-life decisions, it can be important to start estate planning relatively early. Most people would like to have some say over what happens to their property and children after they pass, or if they become incapacitated and unable to manage their own financial and daily affairs. There are critical documents that most people should have drafted by an experienced Brooklyn estate planning lawyer. Jules Haas is an attorney who handles estate planning as well as probate and estate administration matters. He understands which kinds of contingencies you should expect and knows how to execute a client's intent through formal estate planning documents.Crafting a Comprehensive Estate Planning Strategy
It is important for many people in New York to have an attorney draft a will, a health care proxy, a living will, and a durable power of attorney for finances in case they are incapacitated or pass away. For some people, it is important to avoid probate after their death. Probate can be time-consuming. There are ways to avoid probate, such as by creating a trust. It may also be important to minimize the estate tax. There is a state estate tax that is imposed on estates. Your family may need to deal with the tax if you own real estate in the Brooklyn area.
The will or last will and testament is a document in which you leave your assets and name an executor. The will should be drafted to indicate to whom you want your property to be distributed and name an executor to ensure that your wishes are carried out. You may wish to name a guardian for your underage children and to name somebody to manage any property that you leave to your children. If you do not have a proper will drafted, your property can be distributed according to New York's intestacy laws.
It can be helpful to hire an estate planning attorney in Brooklyn to make sure that the will is enforceable and to avoid will contests later. To be enforceable, you will need to sign the will in front of two witnesses, and they also must sign the will. You can make a will self-proving by using a self-proving affidavit signed by the attesting witnesses and notarized.
The executor whom you name should be someone whom you trust. After you pass away, the executor is supposed to pay off debts and taxes and distribute the remainder to the people to whom you indicated that it should go. The executor whom you name should be of sound mind and a minimum of 18 years old. New York probate courts may reject the executor named if the executor is unfit to serve for reasons like substance abuse, improvidence, dishonesty, or an inability to understand the role.
Some people will want to retain a Brooklyn estate planning attorney to create a trust. A trust is an arrangement in which somebody holds legal title to property for a beneficiary's benefit. A living trust is one that is created while you are alive. The person who holds legal title is the trustee, and you can serve as the trustee for your living trust, thereby maintaining control of the property. Many people create trusts in order to avoid probate court. The probate process in New York is not simplified through the use of the Uniform Probate Code, as it is in some other states. Creating a living trust can allow the probate process to be avoided.Consult a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer in Brooklyn
Attorney Jules Haas has more than 35 years of experience providing legal representation and counsel related to estate planning issues to individuals and families in Brooklyn. He works hard toward satisfying clients and will listen carefully to the details of their needs. Contact us at (212) 355-2575 or through our online form to start discussing your situation.