An updated, concise, well-drafted New York estate plan is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your spouse, your children, and your heirs. Have you ever thought about what would happen to your family should you die or become disabled? Dying without an estate plan can throw your heirs into a legal situation that can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees, taxes and other costs that could have been avoided with proper planning. In addition, for families with children, a properly drafted and current will with a guardianship appointment is critical. Without a will, your children’s future will be left to the decision of the courts.
New York Estate planning, however, is much more than simply drafting a will. It includes instructions about asset distribution upon death, healthcare decisions (such as withdrawals of life support and the appointment of someone to make that decision), guardianship issues, and the very difficult choice of who will care for your children if you die. Income and estate tax issues and a host of other matters are also addressed. Many of these issues must be dealt with regardless of the size of one’s estate; estate planning is definitely not limited to the rich. A well-crafted plan can give you and your family peace of mind for a lifetime.
The basic New York estate plan starts with a simple will plus advance directives to cover healthcare issues. If you have children, the basic plan is modified to include the guardianship provisions that will appoint someone to care for your children if you die. With a larger estate in New York, a more complex plan can be designed to incorporate a dynasty trust for your children, which will ensure that your assets will not go unmanaged and unaccounted for to the guardian. The trust can also be designed to ensure that your children will not receive an outright distribution of assets at the age of majority when many young people may have a difficult time managing assets in a complex investment arena. Finally, for the middle income to the very wealthy, tax planning is essential to the smooth and efficient transfer of wealth between the generations.