Wills Lawyers Providing Compassionate Legal Care to Clients in Astoria, NY
During life, many of us attempt to provide for our family and friends in any which way we can. But there are ways that we can attempt to provide and make things easier for our loved ones, even after we are gone. With the creation of a strong estate plan that includes wills, trusts, and asset protection, it is possible to put measures in place that can see to the financial well-being of our family members and even provide housing or other assets over time.
At the center of nearly every strong estate plan is a person’s Last Will and Testament. This document, which can be updated, revoked, and revised continually throughout your lifetime, establishes your wishes and directives for the assets and properties which you will leave behind after death. If you wish for the family home to go to your surviving spouse and your car to go to your child, then you can make those arrangements with a will. If you have young children, then the will could also name who you wish to be their guardian when you are gone.
The law firm of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP has been serving in and around Astoria, NY for decades now, providing clients like yourself with estate planning services that meet their individual goals and needs. If you would like assistance with the creation of your will, as well as any other estate plan measures, please contact our law firm. Our wills lawyers have the knowledge and experience in both federal and New York state law to assist you and your family with your estate plan needs.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
It is never too early to begin planning your estate or drafting your Last Will and Testament. There is, however, such a thing as too late. If you wait to draft your will until you are on your deathbed, you may very well run out of time. And even if the document is properly filed before your ultimate passing, some prospective beneficiaries may decide to contest the will on the grounds that it was written under duress, undue influence, or deteriorating mental capacity.
If you die without a valid will, then your estate will enter probate. After debts have been settled, the remaining assets will be divided and distributed per the terms of New York’s line of intestate succession.
If the decedent who dies without a will has a spouse but no children, then the spouse will inherit everything.
If the decedent has no spouse but does have children, then the children get everything, divided amongst themselves.
If the decedent has both a surviving spouse and children, then the spouse inherits the first $50,000 of the estate and half of the remaining, while the children inherit the rest.
If the decedent has no spouse or children but is survived by their parents, then the parents will inherit everything. And if there is no spouse, children, or surviving parents, but there are siblings, then the siblings will inherit everything.
Do You Need a Wills Attorney?
It is possible to draft a will without the involvement of a legal professional. However, it is still recommended, as any minor error in your will could result in future heartache for your surviving family members and heirs.
Hiring a wills attorney is especially recommended if your estate is large, if your beneficiaries are spread out across the country (or across the globe), or if your instructions for the distribution of your assets are complex.
To learn more about the benefits of hiring a wills lawyer to assist you, please schedule a consultation with our law firm.
What is a Living Will?
Living wills are not the same thing as your typical wills. In fact, they probably have more in common with a health care proxy, which itself has a lot in common with a durable power of attorney.
A living will is also sometimes known as an advanced healthcare directive. The document establishes an individual’s wishes for medical care and end-of-life care. These directives are especially useful when the individual can no longer speak for themselves because they are incapacitated by injury, illness, or coma, and decisions still need to be made relating to their medical care.
To learn more about how living wills differ from a Last Will and Testament, please speak with an estate planning attorney who is familiar with New York state laws. We understand that this is a lot to keep track of and that not everyone who walks through our doors has experience with the law. With that in mind, the attorneys of Ortiz & Ortiz attempt to provide compassionate, easy-to-understand legal advice to our clients so that they can feel they’re making informed decisions for themselves.
Contact the Attorneys of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP for Help in Your Estate Planning Needs
While there is no legal requirement for everyone in New York to have a will drafted, it is still nonetheless highly recommended. Everyone reading this probably has an estate and some amount of assets that they would like to leave to a beneficiary. If you want to make sure that these assets are inherited by the intended beneficiaries, you need to put it in writing in a legally valid Last Will and Testament. What’s more, a well-written will can help settle the financial obligations of the estate so that loved ones need not be overwhelmed by your estate’s bills and debts while they are attempting to grieve.
To learn more about what goes into a well-crafted estate plan, please contact the wills attorneys of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP. You may call our law offices at 916-796-1858.