Transcript - Estate Planning Made Easy
Hello, my name is Jules Haas. I am a New York attorney and I have been practicing in the area of trust and estates for over 30 years. And really what I’d like to say with respect to this is sort of this is estate planning made easy. When planning your estate, one of the essential things to think about at the beginning is where you live, what your domicile is, because it is important to claim your estate in connection with the laws of the state, where your domicile is located. Domicile is your primary home. People have a lot of residences, but they only have one domicile, so it’s important to figure out where your domicile is and do you plan in accordance with that state law. The next thing to think about is the nature of your assets, what assets do you own. This is important because when you do a will, your will is only going to control assets that are in your name alone. Let me give you an example. If you own an asset such as the bank account in a joint name, that asset is going to go automatically to the joint owner upon your death. When you write a will, if you put somebody in that will, and that person is not on that asset, that asset is not going to go to the person named in the will. For example, if you wrote a will and said I leave everything to my sister Macy, but all of your assets are held jointly with your brother Joe, upon your death, all of those assets are going to go to your brother Joe and not to your sister Mary. This is not what you’ve intended and because of the way the assets are held your estate claim is not going to be effective. Other aspects that you must consider when planning your estate, is the effect of taxes which include estate taxes and income taxes and there are federal tax laws concerning estate taxes, and New York State tax laws concerning taxes. If you don’t have a last will, your assets are going to be distributed to the laws of the state. Those state laws will provide that your assets are going to your next of kin. You may not want your assets to go to might be your closest relatives. You may really want to benefit other individuals such as friends or a particular relative, that wouldn’t on the priority line of your estate according to the laws of intesti--- so it’s important to do a last will so your intentions can actually be carried out. Also, in doing the will, it’s important to name all of your beneficiaries and named contingencies because when your will is probated some of the people that you name in your will may no longer be alive, so for instance, if you say, I leave something to so and so in my will, if that person isn’t alive, what’s going to happen to that asset? So when you write your will you need to say, leave it to so-and so and if that person is not able to get that property, then so- and -so is my contingent beneficiary. So the important point to take away from all of this, is to sit down with the professional, understand your assets, think about the plan that you want to make and the fact that you put it together so your intensions are carried out.