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February 2018 Archives

Probate can be used strategically

For New Yorkers facing estate planning decisions, or dealing with wills made by others, probate can be an intimidating process. While probate court is often reviled as a venue for assets to be wasted through attorney fees and family infighting, it can actually have a place in well-considered estate planning. The key to a streamlined probate process is clarity and forethought.

Knowing about will contests can help you avoid them

If you are like many New York adult children who are helping their parents with estate planning issues as they age, you likely have talked to them about making their Last Wills and Testaments. If they have not yet done so, however, it will be helpful for you to know about New York will contests so you can help your parents avoid one.

Remember health care in estate planning

New York residents who are planning for retirement are generally focused on income streams, managing risk, minimizing tax implications and Social Security. A key aspect of planning for retirement is the inclusion of health care planning. Many financial planners fail to make it a focus in their conversations with prospective clients, but that could be doing them a disservice.

How the higher estate tax exemption may affect planning

Although the tax bill signed into law by President Trump in 2017 increased the estate tax exemption to over $11 million for individuals and more than $22 million for married couples, New York residents might still want to keep other taxes in mind when creating an estate plan. There are strategies people can follow to reduce both transfer and income taxes.

3 costly estate planning mistakes to avoid

Planning for the inevitable is not a very pleasant thing to think about. But if you fail to prepare for when your time will be up, your assets may not pass on to your heirs how you want them to. Not only can estate planning maximize the value of your estate, but it gives you the opportunity to make decisions about what will happen to your assets. 

Estate planning can save time, energy and assets

Estate planning can be an emotional task for people in New York as it involves dealing with emotional and complex issues about the end of life and relationships with one's heirs. However, it can also be critically important to ensuring a smooth transition and protecting the assets one has worked so hard to develop over the years.