Queens Estate Planning
Queens has the largest area of any of the five New York City boroughs and is the second-largest in population. The median age of the borough’s residents is 35 years, and about 13% of the population is at least 65 years old. However, adults of all ages should plan for the possibility of incapacitation as well as the certainty of death. It can be distressing to consider that you may one day be incapacitated and that you will die. Still, it is important to consider carefully how you would prefer your property to be distributed upon your death and who should be the guardian for your minor children if you become unable to care for them or if you die. Estate planning requires close attention to many different factors and possible scenarios. Jules Haas is a careful and experienced Queens estate planning lawyer who can develop enforceable documents that memorialize your wishes.Common Considerations in Estate Planning
One of the most important considerations for most people in the estate planning process is how their property will be distributed upon their death. You can document your wishes by creating a last will and testament. When a valid will has not created, the decedent's property passes based on the laws of intestacy. Many people have preferences about to whom their assets should pass that do not line up with the rules of intestacy. For example, if you are close to certain friends, but not your parents or your long-estranged spouse, you may prefer that your property pass to your close friends, and you could develop a will to this effect.
Although you can technically create a will without a lawyer, retaining an estate planning attorney in Queens to create a valid will reduces the chances of a will contest after your death. The technical requirements are that you must sign your will in front of two witnesses, and these witnesses need to sign the will. The will need not be notarized, but it can be self-proving if it is notarized.
When a will is self-proving, this hastens probate because the court does not need to contact the witnesses who signed the will. You must have testamentary capacity to make a will. Testamentary capacity requires that you understand what you are doing, that you understand that the will is transferring your property when you die, and that the creation of the will is a legal act that is executed with certain formalities.
In addition to the property passing differently than you would have chosen under intestacy rules, probate can take a significant amount of time. Sometimes a Queens estate planning attorney can help you create trusts to bypass probate or shorten probate. There are many different types of trusts. A revocable living trust, for example, allows you to put your assets into a trust but still use the assets during your lifetime. You can design the trust to allow beneficiaries whom you choose to inherit the assets when you pass, and you can put conditions on the trust. Certain assets will not qualify, including retirement accounts and life insurance.
What if you become incapacitated? You will need to consider this possibility. It may be important to develop a durable power of attorney and an advance directive. Advance directives are sets of directions that will allow doctors and caregivers to make decisions in accord with your wishes if you are in a coma, terminally ill, or at a late stage of dementia. For example, do you want a doctor to put you on a ventilator if you are no longer able to breathe on your own? The state allows you to accept or refuse various types of medical care.Consult a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer in Queens
If you are concerned about what may happen to your property or your loved ones, you should contact Attorney Jules Haas. He has over 35 years of experience in this sensitive and nuanced area of the law. Attorney Jules Haas works tirelessly toward securing satisfying results for his clients. He represents people throughout New York City, as well as in Kings, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Contact him at (212) 355-2575 or through the online form.