For Families in Long Island, a Probate Lawyer Prevents Debt and Discord

Headline: Three tips from Long Island probate lawyer Jules Haas

For families and individuals in Long Island, a probate lawyer can be the difference between

  • Inheriting an organized, well-divided estate and inheriting unexpected debt.
  • Using a living trust to manage multiple assets and properties and spending months in probate.
  • Peace of mind and worry.

It is your retirement, your assets, your family.

There is no set age or income at which a person should begin planning to protect their family and assets with the help of a probate lawyer.

The following are situations representative of those faced by many in Long Island. As a probate lawyer serving New York for thirty years, I have handled many, many similar cases, but the following are meant only to represent trust and estate situations that may affect some Long Islanders.

Advice for Long Island: a Probate Lawyer’s Suggestions

1. Multiple homes and/ or large, complicated families? Consider a living trust.

Take a man who remarries five years after his wife passed away. Both husband and wife have two children from previous marriages. They have one daughter together. The woman’s older son was about to enter college when she remarried, so he never lived with his stepfather. He stays at his father’s home during college breaks.

When the couple revised their wills, they wanted to draw up a plan that made provisions for their children and any other children they might have together, but they were not sure how to divide their assets among the children. Both earn between $50,000 and $70,000 yearly.

The woman’s ex-husband had already made some provisions for their two sons, so how should the couple best allocate their assets?

The complications of blended-family estate planning may test the limitations of estate planning. If the couple contacted a Long Island probate lawyer with their questions, he might advise that they establish a revocable living trust and last will through which they could freely control their assets and provide for payments upon death while avoiding possible probate disputes. Specific provisions can be made to benefit all of the couple’s children by allocating different assets or asset percentages to each one.

Additionally, if the couple were to purchase an out-of-state vacation home, the revocable trust would help them manage their assets while avoiding the probate involved with properties in different states.

2. Live well. Draw up your living will, healthcare proxy and Last Will.

The most emotionally-charged changes in life often carry large financial implications. An experienced Long Island probate lawyer can help you make sure that your finances are protected and organized before life-changing events are underway.

Not only does planning ahead prevent legal and familial disputes, it allows your family to deal with life as it happens—not play catch-up with paperwork as it happens.

3. Special needs? Provide and protect with a supplemental needs trust.

What if that same couple had a child with a developmental disability? How would this change their financial situation in the present and future, and how could a probate lawyer help them arrange the best situation for their child?

Planning for a special needs child’s future requires special attention, because the child’s future eligibility for Social Security and other governmental benefits is at stake. As I have advised before in my blog, parents of a child with developmental disability should consider a supplemental needs trust.

A supplemental needs trust (SNT) allows the beneficiary to receive financial support without losing much-needed governmental support. This is one of the best examples of an instance in which estate planning is of immediate concern to younger families.

Contact Long Island probate lawyer Jules Haas with your trust and estate issues

I work closely with my clients and provide personal attention to their issues and problems. If you or someone you know is involved with or has any questions about a New York trust or estate matter, please contact me for a free consultation at telephone number (212) 355-2575 or email: