While many people believe estate planning is for older adults or the wealthy, everyone should do some essential planning. Having a plan protects your loved ones and guides them in carrying out your final wishes after your death.

Another substantial advantage of creating a thorough estate plan is that it helps prevent your beneficiaries from disagreeing over property division. Schedule a meeting with a qualified estate planning attorney in Staten Island to review your options.

The Basic Estate Planning Documents

The primary estate planning documents include:

  • A Last Will and Testament to name the estate beneficiaries and the person to handle the executor of the estate duties
  • A Durable Power of Attorney to name the person who will step in and make financial decisions if necessary
  • A Living Will to direct loved ones to carry out end-of-life medical care when the estate planner cannot make the decision
  • A Health Care Proxy to name someone the estate planner trusts to step in and make essential health care decisions should they be unable to make choices themselves

A lawyer in Staten Island could review each document during the estate planning process consultation and help determine the appropriate course of action.

Creating a Revocable Living Trust

Revocable living trusts are popular and effective estate planning tools because they allow creators to transfer assets into the trust during their lifetime. Creating a revocable trust offers advantages to the estate player during life and benefits their family upon death. One unique benefit of this type of trust is that the owner can change or revoke the trust at any point if they wish to do so.

Further, the assets the owner transfers to the trust for their beneficiaries will automatically transfer as per their instructions, avoiding the probate process that most estates must pass through after someone passes away. Probate is often an ongoing and costly process, and when there are problems, it may require extensive litigation.

Utilizing the available tools to minimize or avoid the process altogether is a popular estate planning strategy for many. Constructing a revocable living trust is more complicated than making a simple will. However, a lawyer in Staten Island could help tailor a strategy for the estate planning process and draft documents to ensure compliance with the laws.

Irrevocable Trusts

Creating an irrevocable trust is another option for estate planners. While they do not provide some advantages of revocable trusts, such as the option to change or revoke, they have other potential benefits.

One advantage of irrevocable trusts is that once the maker transfers assets, the money is considered the property of the trust, which could help the individual qualify for Medicaid and enjoy certain tax benefits. Another option for estate planners is to create a special-needs trust, which will provide financial support for loved ones with special needs and cover their living expenses and other costs, even after death.

Talk to a Qualified Attorney About the Staten Island Estate Planning Process

Creating an estate plan allows you to make crucial decisions to protect your assets and legacy while preventing your loved ones from disagreements over property, legal battles, and ongoing litigation. Many tools are available, and the right ones for you depend on your long-term goals and desires.

A lawyer who has experience with the estate planning process in Staten Island could guide you through the process and handle the drafting of each document on your behalf. Schedule an appointment to work on an estate plan fitting for you and your loved ones.