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When Planning Your Trusts and Estates, Start By Taking Inventory of Your Assets

TrustsOne of the first steps in planning and understanding an estate is compiling a complete list of assets.  Assets include: investments such as stocks and bonds, insurance policies, retirement savings such as a 401K or individual retirement accounts, real estate and business interests. Ask these three questions when starting to plan your trusts and estates: Who do you want to inherit your assets? Who should handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated? Finally, Who do you want to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself? A New York City trusts and estates lawyer can help you answer these questions.

An essential aspect of any Estate Plan is to fully understand the nature of the assets that may need to be administered in the event of a person's death or incapacity.  Some assets, such as bank accounts, may be easy to identify and access by a fiduciary such as an Executor or Administrator.  Other assets, such as life insurance and retirement funds, may have designated beneficiaries who may have rights to receive these items notwithstanding provisions in a Trust or Will that provide for disposition to different beneficiaries.  The many issues involved with planning and managing Trusts and Estates can be complex and the assistance of a Trusts and Estates lawyer in New York City can be essential.  Another important part of an estate plan is the selection of beneficiaries.  Such persons can be named as the specific recipients on insurance or retirement plans.  Of course, a Last Will needs to contain the names of the persons who will receive a decedent's estate.  It is essential to designate primary beneficiaries as well as secondary beneficiaries in case the primary designee predeceases the decedent.  A Will and other documents that dispose of property after death should always provide for these contingencies.  In the event a secondary beneficiary is not named, a person's property may end up being distributed  according to statutory rules in a manner that does not reflect the intentions of the decedent.

In some instances the use of a testamentary substitute such as a Living Trust may be beneficial.  A Living Trust allows for the post-death distribution of assets and contains essentially the same type of beneficiary directions provided in a Last Will.  However, the Living Trust does not need to go through the probate process to become effective.  Also, in order for assets to be disposed of according to the trust provisions, the title of the asset must be changed so that they are owned in the name of the trust prior to death.  Therefore, bank accounts and real estate must be held in the trust name for the trust directions to apply to these items.

As a New York City trusts and estates attorney, I have many years of experience working with and advising clients in the planning and creation trusts and estates that effectively express my clients’ personal desires regarding these important questions. I work to make sure that your trusts and estates plans are both sound and in accordance with your wishes.

Trusts and estates are also the subject of probate and court proceedings.  I have worked with many clients on trusts and estate matters including probate, administration, accountings and estate and trust settlement.  I have helped clients throughout New York including representation in Manhattan Probate, Queens Probate and Long Island Probate.

Today, more than anything, I enjoy being successful on behalf of a client. I work hard to help clients resolve their legal issues successfully.

For personalized attentive service and a free case evaluation you can contact me by telephone (212) 355-2575, fax (212) 751-5911 or e-mail us to set up an appointment with a trusts and estates attorney in New York City.

Client Reviews
I am very grateful to Mr. Jules Martin Haas attorney of law in New York. I am from Buenos Aires Argentina. He managed with expertise a very difficult situation. of a complicate heritage from my aunt Anna Grodzka that lived and died a very long time ago in New York. I recommend him not only for his extraordinary knowledge but also for his kindness. Irma CW Peusner
I found Mr. Haas after being misguided by a former attorney. Mr. Jules Haas took our case which involved an estate/trust dispute. What initially seemed like an impossible and overwhelming legal fight was now in the hands of someone who had the integrity and legal expertise to win our case. Mr Haas' attention to detail and his expert knowledge base, skillfully and successfully guided us through an intricate legal process. I am very thankful and grateful to Mr. Jules Haas for representing our interest and ultimately winning. Bringing about a peace of mind we needed. Thank You Devida Nedd
I was in need of a guardianship attorney and I hired the services of Jules M. Haas' Law firm. The service of counselor Haas and his staff, was very profesional and the case was handled in a timely matter. I would strongly recommend his services Angel Guevara
I strongly recommend Jules Haas. I have worked with him for two years and he has provided so much support and followed through with everything he promised he would do. His support staff is just as helpful! We had an interesting case and he helped to solve each part of it legally and was very thorough. Thank you for everything you have done to finalize our families estate Robyn Stafford
Jules Haas helped me with managing the process in probate court for my father's estate through to its completion upon the sale of my father's house. He was knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in submitting documentation to the probate court, explaining procedures to me, and advising me as to the progress of my case. His support staff was also very helpful. He made what for me created so much anxiety into something manageable where I could see progress every step of the way. His fees were very reasonable. I am super grateful to him for all the help he has provided and strongly recommend his services. Diana Janer
I just completed an estate transaction where Jules Haas represented my client in an estate and he did a great job! He was very quick at responding to all matters throughout the sale process, he was detailed, he was knowledgeable and he was a pleasure to work with. I just recommended him to some new clients who are going through an estate matter and will continue to recommend him. Rodolfo Lucchese