Are you wondering if estate planning would benefit you and your loved ones? Whether you know it or not, you have an estate. Your estate is comprised of everything that you own and this includes your vehicles, your home, investment property, your business, personal belongings, jewelry, collectibles, investments, bank accounts, and just about anything you can put a price tag on.
If you would prefer your assets and personal belongings to go to whom you want when you want as opposed to having the State control the distribution for you, then we urge you to continue reading our estate planning frequently asked questions below.
Understanding the Estate Planning Process
Estate planning is a process which involves the assistance of professional advisors who are familiar with your long-term goals and concerns, your assets and how they are owned, and your family dynamics. Estate planning covers the transfer of your property upon your death as well as a variety of other matters such as guardianship, life insurance, long-term care insurance, advanced directives, Medicaid planning etc.
What is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is one that you create during your lifetime. A living trust allows you to manage your assets and it protects them should you become ill, disabled or mentally incapacitated due to aging. Living trusts allow you to change or amend them whenever you please, and they can allow you to avoid probate.
What Does it Mean to Die Intestate?
Intestate means you do not have a will when you die. In this case, your state will divide and distribute your assets among your beneficiaries according to intestacy law.
Some examples of intestacy distribution laws in New York include:
- If you have a spouse and no children, your spouse inherits your full estate
- If you have living children but no spouse, your children inherit the full estate
- If you have a spouse and living children, your spouse will inherit the first $50,000 of your estate plus half of the balance, with your children inheriting the rest
Dying intestate does not give you the option to control who your beneficiaries are and where they will be distributed. It also does not allow you to bequeath any part of your estate to non-family members.
For more information, please contact an estate planning lawyer from our Long Island firm directly!