Brooklyn estate attorney gives advice on estates and trusts
Proactively planning your estate is something most Brooklyn residents need to complete, no matter their age.
An estate plan creates a basic foundation and set of directives to protect your assets and ensure your loved ones are taken care of when you pass on, or suddenly become incapacitated.
In addition to protecting your valuables, estate planning can be utilized to pass on your family values and protect important assets and heirlooms for the benefit of future generations. Basically, when you create an estate plan, you are gaining peace of mind for the future by making decisions today.
Estate Plans are For Everyone
Some people mistakenly believe that estate plans are exclusively for the wealthy and the elderly. This is simply not true. Whether you a single individual just beginning your adult life, have a young family, or an elderly individual or couple, you can attain peace of mind by retaining the services of an experienced Brooklyn probate attorney to help articulate your wishes through a well-crafted estate plan.
Examples of Estate Plan Documents
The term “estate plan” is extremely broad and encompasses an array of legal documents and financial arrangements. This is why it is so important to sit down and discuss your options with an estate lawyer in Brooklyn, NY. The right “estate plan” will depend on your particular circumstances, including the needs of your family and your assets. Below is a general overview of the type of estate planning documents that can be drafted for you and your family:
- Last Will and Testament — A will is a written document that effectively establishes how you want your assets distributed when you pass on.
- Living Will — A living will provides a set of directives about your wishes regarding medical treatment in case you are no longer able to state your own wishes due to incapacitation.
- Living Trust — A trust is basically a Will 2.0 by allowing you to transfer ownership of your assets to another person or entity and this entity protects your assets from creditors and civil liability.
- Power of Attorney — This legal document enables you to name someone to handle your affairs if and when you become incapacitated.
- Health Care Proxy — This is someone who can be appointed to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated.
- Guardianship — If you have a young child, or children, it is important to designate a specific legal guardian to take custody and care for your child in case you pass on or become incapacitated.
- Deed Transfer — Deed transfers alter the legal ownership of a piece of physical property, including your primary home and any investment properties, from you to named beneficiaries.
Benefits of a Living Trust
In many instances, a living trust can provide an array of benefits for our clients. A living trust is essentially an arrangement whereby property is transferred with the intention that it be administered by a trustee for the benefit of another. The person whom the living trust is intended to benefit is called the beneficiary. You can name yourself as the beneficiary, or you can name your spouse, children, etc.
There is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to establishing a trust. Basically, a trust can be created for any purpose that is not illegal or against public policy. An experienced trust and estate attorney in Brooklyn can discuss the various types and objectives of trusts.
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Living Trust versus Will
You may be thinking, “A living trust sounds a lot like a will. What are the advantages of a living trust over a simple will?” Well, the biggest advantage of the living trust is that any property you transferred into the trust during your life will pass directly to your beneficiaries upon your passing. This means the contents of your trust will not have to go through probate. There are many advantages of avoiding probate, including:
- No probate fees are due on property passing outside of probate;
- the property will pass immediately to the beneficiaries; and
- the terms of the trust remain private.
Keep in mind that property disposed of by will passes through probate and is therefore subject to probate fees and the delays normally associated with probate.
Furthermore, when a Last Will and Testament is probated, it becomes a public document that can be obtained and read by members of the general public.
Other Advantages of a Trust
A trust is also a good way to make gifts to minor children or to provide for the care of elderly parents. It is also used by people getting on in years who are concerned with their own possible future incapacity.
How a Brooklyn Estate Lawyer Can Help
There are many websites and companies offering cookie-cutter estate documents. As a result, some people hesitate to schedule a meeting with an estate attorney in Brooklyn. There are numerous benefits associated with having an attorney-crafted estate plan. Here is an overview of what an attorney can do for you:
- Draft or update your will;
- Assist in establishing a “living trust” and help with managing the trust;
- Provide a copy of your will or trust documents to the individuals you designate with this responsibility;
- Drafting a “letter of instructions” for your loved ones and beneficiaries; and
- Assist with funeral preplanning.
Help with Estate Litigation
Even a detailed, properly-executed estate plan can be subjected to legal challenge by an unhappy or disgruntled relative. If a legal challenge is mounted against the validity or particular provision of a Will, Trust, etc. then it is important to retain the services of an experienced and skilled probate attorney in Brooklyn. Our lawyers can help with the following litigation-related issues:
- Living Trust Contest Proceedings;
- Last Will and Testament Contest Proceedings;
- Spousal Right of Election Issues;
- Fiduciary Misconduct Allegations; and
- Pursuing a Recovery of Fraudulent Conveyances Made Prior to a Decedent’s Passing.
Take Action Today by Scheduling a Meeting with a Brooklyn Trust and Estate Lawyer
As you can tell, there are many benefits associated with retaining an experienced and skilled trust and estate lawyer in Brooklyn, NY to help counsel you on your legal options and take the appropriate steps to draft the necessary legal documents. If you are in need of an attorney, contact the Bukh Law Firm, PLLC.
We are unique because we’re not simply a group of lawyers and paralegals. We are a cohesive team of legal professionals focused on meeting the unique needs of our clients.