and Peace of Mind
People are often reluctant to think about the end of their lives and, as a result, avoid developing an estate plan. If they become ill or pass away before they execute a will or other estate planning documents, though, it can lead to adverse consequences and contentious battles between their loved ones. Therefore, anyone who wants to protect their interests and assets should contact an attorney to discuss what estate planning tools they can implement to meet their needs. Patrick McGlashan of McGlashan Law, P.C. is a seasoned New York estate planning attorney, and if you hire him, he will advise you of your options and guide you through the process of developing an estate plan that aligns with your goals. Mr. McGlashan’s office is located in Manhattan, and he regularly assists people with their estate planning needs in Manhattan and throughout New York.
Wills are the most commonly employed estate planning tool. Wills allow people to determine how their property will be distributed when they die, designate guardians for their minor children and name executors to administer their estate. When a person passes away without a will, their property will be distributed in accordance with the New York intestacy laws, and the process of dividing the estate can be complicated and lengthy.
In New York, anyone who is of sound mind and memory and 18 years old can draft a will. Wills generally must be written to be valid, but there are some exceptions for people in the armed forces. Written wills must be signed or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses have to attest to the testator’s signature within 30 days as well.
While many people that have substantial assets create trusts to protect their property and avoid estate taxes, trusts are not only for the wealthy. People can also create trusts for the benefit of a child or family member with special needs to ensure that the person receives appropriate care after their care providers pass away without jeopardizing the person’s right to public benefits. People can create trusts for charitable purposes as well. People who own real estate in multiple jurisdiction or who have blended families could benefit from the creation of an appropriate trust.
In order to create a trust, a person must create a document outlining the terms of the trust and must have the document notarized. They then must fund the trust, which means that they transfer ownership of property to the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust. They must identify the beneficiaries by name as well. Creating a trust can be complicated, as there are numerous rules people creating trusts must comply with, and it is smart for anyone who wants to develop a trust to seek the assistance of a lawyer.
In certain circumstances, it might benefit a person, while they are still healthy, to transfer their property to their loved ones. To make a decision on whether to transfer assets, it is necessary to review your goals and consider the risks and benefit of making the transfer. Failing to do a proper evaluation can lead to expensive and frustrating outcomes, filled with avoidable delays.
People may also consider transferring their assets to loved ones to avoid the depletion of their estate if they need Medicaid when they are older. While people can legally transfer property to qualify for Medicaid, they should consider numerous issues before doing so, like the tax consequences, the implication of the loss of property ownership, and the timing of the transfer.
Comprehensive estate plans provide people with peace of mind that their interests and assets will be protected in their final years and after they pass away. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of estate planning, it is wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible. Patrick McGlashan, the founder and managing attorney of McGlashan Law Firm, P.C., has ample experience helping people determine and employ the tools necessary to meet their estate planning goals, and if you engage his services, he will develop a plan to help you protect your rights and assets. Our office is located in Manhattan, and we regularly assist people with estate planning in Manhattan and throughout New York. You can reach us to schedule a confidential consultation by using our online form or calling us at (212) 203-8738.