Manhattan Estate Planning Lawyers: Helping Families Planned for Their Loved Ones’ Futures
Are you looking for a reputable estate planning attorney in New York? As we go about our daily lives, the last thing we want to think about is what will happen to the money, property, and other assets we have accumulated after we pass away. However, it is important to think about this.
Attorney Norma E. Ortiz and her team of financial professionals at the Ortiz & Ortiz law firm work diligently to serve the five boroughs of New York. Whatever your particular situation, be it wanting to update a will following a divorce, Medicaid planning and elder law, or the creation of living trusts, our law firm offers all forms of estate planning services.
You can get in touch by email or phone, or you may also book a consultation online today.
What Are the Makings of Proper Estate Planning?
In simple terms, estate planning is a compilation of numerous documents and legal entities that serve to determine how your affairs are handled in the event of death or disability.
This is not an activity reserved for the rich or elderly exclusively, as anyone can benefit from the creation of a legally solid estate plan. Our law firm can help ensure that vehicles, bank accounts, real estate, personal belongings, and everything else in the “estate” become well distributed and that the assets are protected for their intended beneficiaries.
People of all backgrounds can benefit from estate planning, whether you have a small or large estate. In estate planning, in addition to managing your assets and properties, you are making personal care and health decisions, leaving instructions for your minor children, and planning other important aspects of your life.
How Could an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Help Serve Your Needs?
Estate planning is an all-encompassing process. While you could attempt to solve many of these matters privately with minimal legal representation, an error in your estate plans could result in untold amounts of headache and heartache for those who survive you.
The law firm of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP, offers all manner of legal services pertaining to your estate administration needs. An experienced attorney could help you with matters relating to elder law, including elder care and nursing home considerations. Your lawyer may help in the drafting of your wills or living trusts, providing advocacy as you select who may take over guardianship of your young children and who may inherit the bulk of your assets. And if you’ve recently inherited property from your mother or father’s estate, we can assist in the real estate sale process or in the transfer of ownership.
With a dedicated attorney-client relationship, we can work together to help you through a number of estate planning needs, including…
Asset preservation should be considered as part of an estate plan. In addition to providing ways to pass assets on to your heirs, it should also seek to better preserve those assets so that beneficiaries are provided more. It is key that tax liability is limited through asset structuring, too. Therefore, wealth preservation measures must be effective.
With poorly crafted asset protection, the deceased person’s assets could be fought over in probate court proceedings, leading to conflict between family members. This is just one of the many reasons why it is important to speak with an estate lawyer when drafting wills and other estate planning documents.
A dedicated estate planning attorney in New York can skillfully help you develop an estate plan that suits your needs. At our firm, you will find a comforting environment as well as compassionate and knowledgeable legal support.
Regardless of the complexity of your estate, you have worked hard to accumulate your assets and they should go to the people who deserve them. With the individualized help of our estate planning attorneys in New York, every person can develop a comprehensive estate plan that meets their needs and those of their families.
Your estate should be cared for on the basis of your purpose through the use of testamentary documents such as a will and various trust options. In this way, you can leave your family with the ability to focus on healing and be free from uncertainty.
Inheritances & Inheritance Disputes
Disputes over inheritances are far more common than you might think, even in cases where the person who passed away had a trust or a valid Last Will and Testament. If you are involved in such a dispute, do not think of it as a “private matter” where you should not seek guidance from an estate planning lawyer.
Whether you have been denied real estate, personal property, or other assets you think are rightfully yours, or someone is trying to take away assets that have been left to you, we are here to protect your best interests. While we will try to mediate the dispute in your favor, we will not hesitate to aggressively pursue the matter in court if an acceptable settlement through mediation proves impossible.
You will need comprehensive estate planning when you pass away because it is really important to have a mechanism that allocates your assets according to your last wishes. One of the key points of wills and estate planning is assigning a person to carry out your wishes. The person you assign should be ready to take on a task of great responsibility.
Just as important is having legal support to guide your executor through their obligation. Whether you need legal support to develop an estate plan or legal support for an executor, you can count on us.
Estate planning is not limited to a simple will. Thorough estate planning measures can go well beyond that. Although the will is a good start, to ensure that the assets reach a beneficiary in an efficient manner some may have to explore other documents.
After executing your will, you may want to consider using a trust for certain assets. Assets are managed by a trust before they are sent for probate. Trusts differ a lot from wills since they are cheaper for the beneficiaries as they carry tax benefits, are transferred more quickly, and avoid the probate process.
There are many different types of trusts, each with its own advantages and limitations, including the irrevocable trust and living trusts. To better determine what type of trust suits your needs, please speak to a lawyer with experience in estate planning.
The reality is that there are many reasons for anyone to consider creating a trust and this is a personal conversation you should have with our New York estate planning attorney. In your trust consultation, we will study your case to guide you through the different trust options to find the right one for your goals.
One of the tools we can use to help you accomplish your estate planning goals is a will. Also known as a Last Will and Testament, this document allows you to specify the person or people you want to receive various assets upon the event of your death.
A will also allows you to name a guardian for your minor children in case something happens to you while they are still young. Our estate planning attorneys in New York, Astoria, Brooklyn, and Manhattan have years of experience designing and implementing wills for individuals and families throughout the five boroughs.
How Could an Estate Planning Lawyer Help New York’s LGBTQ Community?
While opposite-sex marriages are protected under New York State’s inheritance laws in case one of them is deceased or becomes incapacitated, same-sex couples could encounter more hurdles. That’s why it is recommended that estate planning tools such as powers of attorney or healthcare proxies be used in conjunction with other estate planning tools.
At Ortiz & Ortiz, our team has a long history of helping LGBTQ individuals overcome deficiencies in the law to protect their futures. While there have been significant advances for gay couples in the form of new anti-discrimination legislation, issues still remain in estate planning, retirement planning, or incapacity, among others. Let our legal team deal with those issues for you and make use of the legal tools to protect your future.
When Should You Begin Estate Planning?
Although when you are young it is easy not to think about what you are leaving behind, the most prudent thing is to start as soon as possible. Without an estate plan in place, your beneficiaries could face significant taxes, fights, confusion over inheritance, and many other problems that could have been prevented.
By implementing an estate plan, you ensure that your wishes are respected, and the people you care about are taken care of.
What Are the Essential Estate Planning Documents You Should Have?
- A will to dictate how your estate will be allocated after death.
- A health care proxy power of attorney that allows a trustee to make decisions about your healthcare if you become unable to do so.
- A durable power of attorney, so that your selected agent is able to make decisions in case you become incapacitated and cannot handle matters yourself.
- A revocable living trust to determine who gets your estate after your death.
- A living will to express wishes for medical care if you were to be under certain medical circumstances.
There are several types of powers of attorney in New York. For a better understanding of how a power of attorney or any other legal document works in relation to your estate plans, please speak with an estate planning lawyer.
What Actions Could Our Firm Take On Your Behalf to Pave the Way to Successful Estate Planning?
Each estate is unique. However, they all require some or all of the following actions, which our New York attorneys could prove vital.
These actions ensure that property will go to those you choose in an orderly and economical way. Additionally, it will ease the administrative burden placed on survivors already dealing with emotional trauma. These acts will also avoid costly mistakes.
- Understanding how your property is owned.
- Explain how state and federal laws can affect your plan.
- Set up proxies, including health care proxies.
- Property inventory that will determine what you own and what you owe.
- Name beneficiaries.
- Identify and apply strategies to avoid probate or reduce the number of assets that must go through a probate court process.
- Create a will and use a trust if necessary.
- Evaluation of insurance policies.
- Designate a power of attorney and select your agent.
- Find strategies to lessen the expenses associated with the distribution of your estate and minimize taxes.
- Review your estate plan and update it when the need arises.
- Selection of professionals to help with the development of your estate plan.
- Plan your funeral and burial expenses or any other form of disposition of the body.
- Develop an asset liquidity plan to pay off debts.
- Provide considerations for elder care, including long-term care needs or nursing home admittance, for you, your spouse, or your parents when they reach a certain age.
What is Estate and Trust Litigation?
Our estate planning and elder law attorneys in New York also represent clients in estate and trust-related litigation in Surrogate’s Court. We have counseled clients on issues related to:
- Will contests.
- Objections to trust and estate accountings.
- Recovering assets that belong to an estate.
- Removal of fiduciaries from office.
- NY spousal right of election.
Why is it Important to Consider Estate Planning in New York?
- If you die without a will, trust, or other estate planning legal document, the state of New York and what is known as the Surrogate’s Court will decide who inherits your life savings.
- The government is not interested in carrying out your wishes and distributing your assets as inexpensively and efficiently as possible during the probate process. Having a good plan in place could also lessen the tax burden on your heirs.
- Worse, your family will likely suffer the consequences. When clear instructions about the distribution of your money and property are not provided, disputes often arise between family members. These disputes can quickly turn sad and ugly. It is not uncommon for family members to sever ties with one another over disputes such as these.
At Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP, we can help you leave what you want, when you want, to whom you want, and spare your family from the infighting and hard feelings that can last a lifetime.
What Are Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid?
Here are some of the most common mistakes made when considering estate planning:
- Not having an estate plan: Sadly, death is inevitable for each and every one of us. Through careful planning and estate administration, you can ensure that all your financial and personal affairs are handled correctly after your death.
- Failing to consider meeting with an estate planning attorney: Do you need an attorney to settle an estate? The reality is that without a professional estate planning attorney, an inappropriate estate plan can be created. If you have complicated assets or have questions about creating your own plan, give us a call. This is a subject that you will want to better understand and have completed by professionals.
- Bad choice of estate executor: Although many tend to choose their child or spouse, someone else less personally involved may be able to handle your estate and extensive tasks better. With our attorney-client relationship, we will go over confidential or sensitive information and help you select the most suitable executor for your will, trustee for your trust, and agent for your power of attorney.
- Not updating your will: There are many events and changes in your life, such as new births, marriages, adoptions, divorces, untimely deaths, or the acquisition of new properties or finances. It is important that a will reflect your wishes well, taking into account any such changes.
- Putting Your Child’s Name on the Deed: Instead of having your children face high estate taxes and other headaches, consider creating an estate plan that passes on the home through inheritance.
- Not planning for disability: With the estate plan, you can also plan for unexpected or long-term disability as well as any loan. If you do not consider planning in this sense, you may face greater personal and financial difficulties. Therefore, it is good to consider the option of designating a power of attorney or a living trust to solve these circumstances.
What Are Other Benefits of Having an Estate Plan?
Here are some of the main reasons to have an estate plan:
- Reducing taxes on your estate: Losing an estate to federal and state taxes is a reason for many people to consider setting up an estate plan.
- Avoiding probate: This is the most common reason people seek the advice of an estate planning attorney in New York, as probate can last well over a year to resolve in some cases.
- Protecting beneficiaries: You can protect minors from outside influences, creditor problems, divorcing spouses, and bad decisions by appointing guardianship in your estate plan.
- Prevent family feuds and legal battles: You can save on expenses by having an estate plan and won’t have to worry about probate court.
- Protecting assets: With a lawsuit looming, it is probably too late to establish an estate plan that protects your assets. Starting this process earlier can protect your assets for both you and your loved ones.
Contact the Attorneys of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP, an Experienced Estate Planning Law Firm for Queens, Bronx, and the Rest of NYC
If you need professional and experienced legal representation in estate planning, you have come to the right place. Whether you need to update your plan or are just beginning the entire estate planning process, our legal can help make your plan effective and achieve your goals.
If you need quality legal advice and representation from an experienced, compassionate, and dedicated law firm, we are here to help you. Call us today and let us know your legal needs. 917-920-6437.