When you plan your estate, you are going to be interacting with an estate planning attorney that you just met. This can be somewhat intimidating, because you have to discuss very delicate matters.
Here at the Law Offices of Mary Miller, we are very sensitive to this dynamic. We chose this area of the law because we sincerely want to help people prepare for the eventualities of aging as they preserve their legacies.
If you work with our firm to create your estate plan, you can be sure that you will be dealing with local Westchester County residents who understand the needs of people in our specific community. We treat our clients the way that we like to be treated, and you will immediately feel at ease when you get to know us.
Westchester County, NY Trust Attorneys
Though a last will can be suitable as an estate planning choice when very simple circumstances exist, a trust is going to be preferable in most cases. There are different types of trusts, and the right choice will depend on the situation.
One misconception that many people harbor is the notion that all trusts are only used by wealthy people. This is not the case, though there are trusts that can satisfy objectives that would be held by high net worth individuals.
We help people who occupy all places along the economic spectrum. On the higher-end, Westchester County is a rather affluent area. It is one of the 50 wealthiest counties in the country. People who have been very successful from a financial perspective have to be concerned about estate taxes.
There is the federal estate tax, and we also have a state-level estate tax to contend with in New York. If your estate is in taxable territory, there are irrevocable trusts that can be used to preserve wealth for the benefit of your loved ones.
This is not the only reason why you may want to use an irrevocable trust. Many people seek Medicaid eligibility late in their lives, because this program pays for long-term care. Medicare does not cover living assistance, and Westchester County nursing homes are very expensive.
You are probably aware of the fact that Medicaid is intended for financially needy individuals. There is a $2000 limit on countable assets, so you would have to divest yourself of assets to obtain eligibility. It would be possible to accomplish this through the creation of an irrevocable Medicaid trust.
In addition to irrevocable trusts, there are also revocable living trusts. These trusts provide a host of benefits, and you do not have to be wealthy to realize them.
One benefit that you would gain if you utilize a revocable living trust instead of a last will is the ability to prepare for incapacity. Many elders become unable to handle their own finances eventually, with Alzheimer’s disease being a leading culprit.
If you create a living trust, you could empower a disability trustee to manage the assets in the trust if you were to become incapacitated at some point in time. You can also include spendthrift protections, because you do not have to allow for lump sum distributions after you pass away. The trustee that you choose could be instructed to mete out distributions incrementally over an extended period of time.
Plus, the distributions would not be subject to the probate process. A will would be admitted to probate, and the heirs to the estate would not receive their inheritances until after the estate was probated by the court. This is a time consuming process, and there are also expenses that accumulate during probate.
Take Action to Preserve Your Legacy!
When you plan your estate, you take steps to preserve what you have earned, and you facilitate efficient and effective postmortem asset transfers. A well constructed estate plan will also include an incapacity planning component, and this is an important piece of the puzzle.
We have planted deep roots in the Westchester County community, and we have helped countless local families over the years. Relationship building is important to us, and we are always available to help clients update their plans as the years pass, and we often establish multi-generational connections.
There is no one universal estate plan, because every situation is unique. If you decide to work with our firm, we will get to know you, we will gain an understanding of your objectives, and we will explain your options to you. Your questions will be answered, and you can go forward with a custom crafted estate plan if you decide to proceed.
If you are ready to get started, give us a call at 914-939-6565 or send us a message. We look forward to serving you!