Estate Planning Attorney in Manhattan

Estate planning is more than a plan for handling your money, property, and possessions when you pass away. Through proper estate planning, you can protect your assets and decide how they should be distributed to your heirs. By having thoughtful estate planning in place, you are ensuring that your final wishes will be followed and your legacy preserved. Without that planning, your resources, real estate, and other assets could be drained and even end up in the wrong hands. Let a Manhattan estate planning attorney from Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP help.

Our skilled attorneys have extensive experience developing savvy strategies and estate planning tools to protect our clients’ assets. Our Manhattan estate planning attorneys are ready to help you by setting up trusts, drafting wills, preparing for probate, and handling all other estate planning needs.

Start your planning today by calling Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP or contacting us online.

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How Our Manhattan Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help You

As you begin building your assets and thinking about your future, let a Manhattan estate planning attorney from Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP craft an effective plan for you. Whether you are starting the process or already have some estate documents in place, our attorneys can:
  • Explain how state and federal laws can affect your plans. Estate and inheritance law frequently change and can significantly alter how your estate will be divided.
  • Advise you on estate planning strategies. An attorney from our firm can explore what options are available that best fit your goals.
  • Draft plans and wills based on your needs. As part of the process, our attorneys will discuss your wishes and draft the proper legal documents to solidify your plans.
  • Set up proxies, including health care proxies. Health care proxies can protect you and your choices related to your care in trying times. An attorney can ensure you have considered all the scenarios and planned accordingly.
  • Designate a power of attorney. If you become incapacitated, a power of attorney can be crucial. A lawyer from our firm can help you evaluate your options and make this important decision.
  • Evaluate tax impacts of different estate plans. Taxes can have an enormous impact on your estate. An attorney from Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP can help you determine the best path forward based on your circumstances.
  • Create trusts to help protect your assets. From living trusts to testamentary trusts, an experienced attorney can identify and create trusts to serve your goals.
  • Handle probate administration. Probate administration can be an exhausting and overwhelming experience. Let one of our attorneys take the burden off your family.
  • Revise your estate plan to meet future changes. An estate plan, like any other plan, may need to be updated. An attorney from our firm can take care of any adjustments your plan requires.

These are just a few of the ways that a Manhattan estate planning attorney can help you. If you have questions about starting or revising an estate planning, speak with an attorney from Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP to fully understand your options. The consultation is free.

Creating a Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is one of the most important parts of any estate plan. In many ways, it works as a set of instructions for loved ones to follow. The will designates who should be the executor of your estate, how your assets should be handled, and who should inherit certain property. An estate planning attorney from Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP can help you draft a will that meets your goals while protecting your estate. An attorney can advise you on what language should be in your will and whether other tools, such as trusts, should be part of your estate plan.

As your life circumstances change, you should keep in mind how your will may need to be revised. An estate planning lawyer in Manhattan can help you review your will when necessary and determine whether it should be updated.

Estate Planning FAQs

Estate Planning

Do I need a lawyer for a will in NY?

The short answer is no. You do not need a lawyer for a will in New York. However, it is a good idea to have a lawyer involved, especially if you have a complicated estate or you have concerns about how your will might be handled in the future. A lawyer can help you account for complex assets, offer advice on taxes that may affect your estate, set up trusts, and structure your will to meet your goals. If you have concerns as to how executors or inheritors might handle your will or whether your will might be contested, a lawyer can answer your questions and help draft a will that heads off problems.

When should I start on an estate plan?

It is prudent to start an estate plan as soon as you are able. It is easy when you are young and just busy building your life to put off the thought of how you want to leave a legacy. But without a plan in place, your estate could face significant taxes, fights and confusion over inheritance, and many other preventable problems. By getting an estate plan in place, you can ensure your family is taken care of and your wishes are respected.

What happens if I die without a will in NY?

If you die without a will, the state will handle your estate according to its default rules. This is known as dying “intestate,” meaning there was no will in place upon death. Your estate will be distributed according to these intestate rules. The people or organizations you want to benefit from your estate may be left out.

If you die intestate in New York, these rules apply:

  • If you have a spouse, he or she will inherit everything.
  • If you have children but no spouse, they will inherit everything.
  • If you have parents but no spouse or children, they will inherit everything.
  • If you have no spouse, children, or parents, then your siblings will inherit everything.
  • If you have no spouse or immediate family, your estate will pass to other living relatives.

If you want your estate to go elsewhere, you must have a will in place to make sure that happens. Also, keep in mind that there is more to an estate than simple inheritance. Tax planning, asset protection, trusts, and many other estate planning tools may play important roles in your estate’s distribution.

When should I make updates to my estate plan?

You should update your estate plan any time there is a significant change in your life or your goals. Significant events could include the birth of new relatives, changes in your health, marriage or divorce, significant changes in your assets, and any other meaningful life occurrences. Some people update their estate plan once a year. Remember that your life changes often. It’s good to regularly update your plan and make sure it still accomplishes your goals.

Creating a Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy can be one of the most important documents you ever put together. By setting up a healthcare proxy, you appoint a person you trust to make healthcare decisions for you if you are ever incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions. When you have a proxy in place, you can give that person instructions on how you would want your medical care handled. Without a proxy, doctors and those around you may act in a way that is contrary to your wishes.

Designating Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is another critical document that can help in the event that you are unable to make key decisions. A power of attorney allows you to designate someone who can make legal and financial decisions for you if you are ever incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions.

A power of attorney can come in many forms, including.

  • Durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney is a long-term document that allows someone else to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so.
  • Nondurable power of attorney. This document is limited in time. You would normally use a nondurable power of attorney for a particular decision or transaction.
  • Springing power of attorney. Springing powers of attorney allow you to define a future set of circumstances where someone else would have power of attorney.

If you have questions about what type of power of attorney may fit your circumstances, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer from Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP now.

Protecting Your Assets with a Trust

Trusts are an excellent estate planning tool for protecting your assets. Trusts allow you to take action with your resources now, rather than when you pass away. You can use trusts to make decisions about your assets, name beneficiaries, avoid probate problems, and even protect certain assets from long-term care and nursing home costs.

The type and size of trust will depend on your needs and the governing law. Trusts are a flexible way to protect your estate and provide for those around you. Types of trusts include living trusts, which you can revoke before you pass away, and testamentary trusts, which are established by your will.

When you contact Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP, an NYC estate planning lawyer can review your goals and your assets and advise you on the best route to take. To discuss how you may incorporate trusts into your estate plan, schedule a free consultation today.

Talk to a Manhattan Estate Planning Attorney Now

Schedule a free consultation with the experienced Manhattan estate planning lawyers at Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP. Whether you are just starting the estate planning process or need to update your plan, our knowledgeable lawyers can help you meet your goals and ensure your plan is effective.

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