Manhattan is home to well over 1.5 million people. The median age of someone living in Manhattan is 36 years old. Only about 2.2% of the residents are 65 years of age or older, but most people should think about estate planning long before retirement. When you are planning the distribution of your assets and protecting the future of your family, it is important to consult an experienced Manhattan estate planning lawyer. Often, people making decisions related to their potential incapacitation or death need legal advice on specific issues, such as how to avoid estate tax, how to reduce the burden of the probate process on their family, and more. Jules Haas can go over what your wishes are and draft documents that clearly reflect your intentions related to your property and loved ones.Developing an Estate Plan
Most people need to have a will drafted. Without a will, your property will go through the administration process after your death and be divided according to the laws of intestacy. If you do not have a will, the court will appoint a guardian for your minor children, and it may not be someone whom you trust or would choose to raise your child. Wills are documents that provide a plan for how property that does not pass automatically (such as property held in joint tenancy) should be distributed.
You will need a will even if you also create a living trust. Often, people acquire property and fail to add it to their trust, but a will can ensure that the property passes according to the wishes that you set forth in the will. The will can name somebody to inherit any property that has not otherwise been left to a particular person.
There are different types of trusts that an estate planning attorney in Manhattan can help you utilize, depending on the purpose of the trust. Certain trusts can be used by wealthier individuals or families to reduce the federal estate tax upon the decedent's death. People in Manhattan with significant real estate holdings are likely to be affected by it. Married couples can transfer all of their assets to each other without owing the New York or federal gift or estate tax due to the marital deduction. Many wealthy married couples do not need to create a trust.
Another issue that comes up in estate planning and should be thought through with the assistance of a Manhattan estate planning attorney is what will happen when you are incapacitated. It can be very important to carefully create a health care proxy, a durable power of attorney for finances, and a living will. The health care proxy will name somebody to ensure that your health care wishes are followed in case of incapacity, such as a coma. The person whom you name to make those decisions is an agent. Your agent cannot be under age 18. Typically, a health care agent is a close relative, such as a spouse or child, but it can be anyone you can rely upon.
A living will is a document that indicates your intent regarding life-sustaining treatment. Generally, it will spell out which kinds of medical care you do or do not want to receive.
A durable power of attorney for finances names somebody to look after your finances and property in case you are incapacitated and cannot do so. If you have a child with special needs or a disability, you may also need to consider other issues, such as creating a supplemental needs trust to permit the child to receive money without jeopardizing the disability benefits that they receive.Discuss Your Situation with an Estate Planning Lawyer in Manhattan
Attorney Jules Haas has more than 35 years of experience providing legal representation and advice in Manhattan related to estate planning and probate matters. He understands that each person’s situation is unique and takes the time to learn about their specific needs. Contact us at (212) 355-2575 or through our online form if you are ready to get started on planning for the future.