A guardianship is a legal arrangement where the court gives someone the right to make decisions for another person who is incapable of making decisions on their own. Guardian ad litems are often appointed in cases involving children, or mentally incapacitated adults.
Creating a sound estate plan is one of the most important decisions you can make to preserve your legacy and protect your loved ones. Having a clearly written, comprehensive will is the keystone to your plan. Not only can a solid will ensure your assets are distributed in accordance with your last wishes, it can minimize conflict among your surviving heirs.
If you live in New York, have a less than happy marriage, and think you can disown your spouse when drafting your will, think again. In fact, the Empire State has specific laws in place to prevent you from disinheriting your spouse from your estate plan.
Probate is the process of validating a deceased person’s will. Since no two probate cases are the same, the length of time it takes for the process to conclude can vary greatly. From start to finish, probate can range from months to several years.
Unless you plan for it, inheritance tax (also known as estate tax or death tax) can take a big bite out of the money and property you wanted your family to inherit.
Usually, the executor of an estate is responsible for filing a New York estate tax return and paying the tax within nine months after the person dies. The executor typically works with legal and financial professionals to determine the value of the estate and to determine the federal and state taxes the estate owes.
There are many good reasons to have a will as part of your estate plan. A will helps ensure that your property is divided according to your wishes. Without a will, property is divided according to New York State law, which may not coincide with your wishes.
Along with other estate planning tools, having life insurance provides a way to guarantee a lump sum of money will immediately transfer to your beneficiaries tax free. While it might not mitigate their grief, life insurance can help ensure that financial worries will not add to your family’s sadness
Because of all the regulations and the yearly accounting requirement, it’s important that the special needs trust be set up properly. You should seek the advice of a New York attorney with estate planning experience to help you set up a New York special needs trust.
For better or for worse, our lives can change at any moment. Because life comes with no guarantees, it’s important to have an estate plan that protects you, your family and your property. At a minimum, your estate plan should include a couple of basic documents.