Most living people seem to avoid the topic of estate planning and will drafting. We don’t like to think about death and so we procrastinate. However, making the time to sit down and face these issues now will prove invaluable later. Having a well prepared and carefully drafted estate plan can save you and your loved ones money and time.
Estate planning can be complicated, but with the help of a New York estate attorney, you can have an estate plan that is designed to accomplish your goals. In addition, an estate attorney will be able to advise you on how best to minimize estate taxes.
Before visiting an estate attorney, follow these simple steps to ensure your appointment goes smoothly:
1- Make a list of all your assets and liabilities. After death, your liabilities must be paid. After your liabilities are paid, probate and administration costs are paid. The rest is what is distributed to your beneficiaries.
2- Think about who you want to leave your assets to. When naming beneficiaries, you may want to consider each beneficiaries financial situation.
3- Choose an Executor. An executor is the person who will carry out your estate plan. This person should be someone you trust who is responsible, organized, and has the time to handle the job. An executor is responsible for paying taxes and bills of the estate, taking care of the property, filing for probate, finding an estate attorney, and making distributions to the beneficiaries.
4-Gather other Important Documents. Power of Attorney and Medical Directives such as a Health Care Proxy and Living Will are very important documents that each person should have. A Power of Attorney gives a person the ability to make financial decisions on your behalf while a Health Care Proxy appoints someone to make medical decisions for you based on your wishes as you expressed them to the agent. If you don’t already have these documents, your estate attorney can draft them for you.
5-Choose Guardians for your Children. Take into consideration who you would want to raise your children if you couldn’t. This is a very important decision and you have to make sure the person you pick can handle the job.
Thinking about important issues such as those highlighted above will help you make the most of your first visit with your estate attorney. To get started with your estate plan, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.