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The estate planning process enables you to determine who will manage your assets, medical care, and family responsibilities after you die or become incapacitated. Everyone should have an estate plan regardless of age or wealth. People in all walks of life are looking to make the most of their assets and their choices.

A customized estate plan is essential, especially if you wish to minimize tax burdens, control the distribution of your assets and discourage family disputes. We use a broad range of tools to help you maintain control over their future health care and finances:

  • Health care powers of attorney
  • Estate tax planning
  • Litigation of all estate matters
  • Asset protection
  • Probate and Trust administration

What Documents Are Essential for a New York Estate Plan?

Each estate plan is unique and requires its own set of documents depending on your wishes and what you want to protect and pass to your loved ones after death. Some essential legal documents commonly used in a New York estate plan are a will, trust, powers of attorney, living will, and health care directive.

  • Will: This legal document addresses your intentions after you pass away. This document appoints an executor of your estate, who will take care of managing the estate, paying debts, and distributing the property as specified. The distribution of assets is outlined in the will, but a will must go through probate court in New York.
  • Trusts: The benefit of a trust is that it does not go through probate, compared to a will. Property is still distributed at death, but it is done without the need for a court In a trust, your property will move into the trust during your lifetime, and the trust will then own the property, which your beneficiaries will receive after death.
  • Durable Powers of Attorney: These documents are critical parts of an estate plan. The two legal documents can include a healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney, which designates an individual to act as your agent. A financial power of attorney makes decisions related to financial matters, and a healthcare power of attorney can legally make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
  • Living Wills: This legal documents your wishes for end-of-life care. This document can include what medical treatments you would or would not like to have if incapacitated. A living will can take the stress of making those difficult decisions off family members and helps keep peace in your family during emotional and challenging times.
  • Healthcare Directive: Like a living will, a healthcare directive is a document that addresses your wishes for your healthcare needs. This legal document allows you to name a person as an agent to make decisions if incapacitated.

Navigate New York Estate Planning with an Experienced White Plains, NY Attorney

Your New York estate planning attorney should help you safeguard your estate for every phase in life. As your children grow up, marry, divorce, or sell or purchase a new property, your asset protection needs will change. You are unique, and your estate plan should be as well. We can help you build an estate plan to fit your needs and protect your legacy. Contact Merritt-Giles, Attorney at Law, to learn more about New York Medicaid and the benefits of obtaining legal advice for long-term care.

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