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September 2014 Archives

Some common misconceptions about trusts

New York residents who were saddened by the deaths of celebrities Joan Rivers and Robin Williams could also be interested in a glimpse into how they managed their finances. Trusts played a big part in the way that both of their estates were managed. Because of them, their loved ones won't be forced to deal with avoidable financial complications regarding their inheritances. As the public interest in trusts since their deaths has increased, the usefulness of trusts could become something that many more individuals and families are seriously considering. There are, however, three common myths regarding trusts that can be easily dispelled.

Estimating the size of an estate

When a New York resident attempts to begin planning their estate, one article suggests that he or she focuses on three basic issues. The first issue is how much of a person's assets will be transferred to an estate. Then, the benefactor should focus on designating heirs and beneficiaries. The last consideration is determining whether to distribute the assets before one's death or to set up mechanisms for distribution after one passes away.

The use of bypass trusts in estate planning

A bypass trust may be useful for New York couples with assets exceeding the federal estate tax exemption of $5.3 million. Such a trust reduces estate taxes to nothing or almost nothing on the decedent's side while lowering estate taxes for the surviving spouse. This is done by splitting the couple's assets into two shares. The first share is roughly equivalent to the federal estate tax exemption and is left in the estate.

Medicaid planning in New York

While there is no question that the fact that lifespans are increasing, even if someone has a medical condition, is a good thing, it also represents a larger financial burden for individuals, especially if someone needs at-home or nursing home care. While Medicaid is available to help with these costs, an individual's assets must have been mostly exhausted before they are able to take advantage of this program.

Estate planning in New York and why it is important

According to a recent survey, around 71 percent of individuals under the age of 34 do not have wills and 41 percent of Baby Boomers do not have them either. While preparing a will can be hard, it is essential for the majority of individuals. A will may help avoid potential disagreements among family regarding asset distribution. By preparing a will, individuals may be able to make their wishes known and ease the process of inheritance.