If you are looking for an estate planning attorney in Sleepy Hollow, NY, you have reached the right website. We have been helping our friends and neighbors here in the Sleepy Hollow community for a very long time.
People who live in our area are well aware of the history. Our town has been made globally famous by the Washington Irving short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a tale that has also been adapted for the screen on multiple occasions. The author lived in Tarrytown, which is where our office is located.
He was ultimately laid to rest in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery alongside numerous different famous luminaries, including Walter Chrysler and Andrew Carnegie.
We are a truly local estate planning law firm, and we can assure you that you will feel perfectly at ease if you decide to work with us to craft a meaningful legacy for the benefit of your loved ones.
What Do You Know About New York Wills and Trusts?
Taking care of financial matters will be a top priority when you are planning your estate. Under very simple circumstances, a last will could suffice, but there are some drawbacks and limitations that you should understand before you decide that a will is the right choice for you.
When it comes to drawbacks, a will would be admitted to probate. In New York, the Surrogate’s Court handles probate matters. This process is time-consuming, and the heirs have to wait it out. No inheritances are distributed while the process is underway, and it will take eight months to a year at minimum.
There are also expenses that pile up during the probate process, and it is a public proceeding, so anyone who wants to pry into your affairs could find out how you decided to distribute your resources.
The limitation part enters the picture when it comes to the nature of the distributions to the heirs. When a last will is used to transfer personally held property, the people who are named in the will receive lump sum inheritances all at once. The inheritances are not protected from creditors, and there is nothing stopping the inheritors from squandering their bequests.
You can counteract these limitations and drawbacks if you use a revocable living trust as your asset transfer vehicle. Assets in the trust could be distributed outside of probate, and you can include spendthrift provisions. The resources would be protected after your death, and you could allow for incremental distributions over an extended period of time.
A living trust is one type of trust that can be used by a wide range of people, but there are other trusts that can be utilized to satisfy more advanced objectives. For example, there are a lot of wealthy people in and around Sleepy Hollow, NY. High net worth families can be exposed to estate taxes. There is a federal estate tax, and there is also a state-level estate tax in New York.
Irrevocable trusts of various kinds can be used to reduce estate tax exposure.
There are also trusts that can be used to preserve government benefit eligibility if you want to leave an inheritance to a loved one with special needs. These are a handful of examples that demonstrate how a trust can be preferable to a last will under many circumstances, but there are other situations that can be addressed through the utilization of some type of trust.
Sleepy Hollow, NY Incapacity Planning
The monetary end of things is important, but a holistic estate plan will address issues that may present themselves at the very end of your life. Incapacity is not uncommon among the oldest old, and you can protect yourself if you take the right steps in advance.
An incapacity plan will include the execution of documents called advance directives for health care. A living will would be created to state life support preferences, and a health care proxy would be included to name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
A durable financial power of attorney can be added as well to empower an agent to handle your financial affairs if you ever become unable to manage them on your own.
If you have a living trust, you can name a disability trustee to manage the trust if you ever become incapacitated.
Now Is the Time to Act!
Action is necessary if you are currently unprepared from an estate planning perspective. To set the wheels in motion, call us at 914-939-6565 or send us a message through this page: Sleepy Hollow, NY Estate Planning Attorneys.