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Estate Planning Archives

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.

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.

Estate planning essentials

While many people in New York intellectually understand the importance of estate planning, many fail to take action. As a result, many New Yorkers lack even basic documents that indicate what they want to happen to themselves and their assets after they die or become incapacitated.

Bitcoins can be part of an estate plan

New Yorkers who are invested in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies may be concerned about the future of their investments after their death. Because these are relatively new developments, many investors have not yet accounted for them explicitly in their estate planning documents. Yet digital assets, from personal profiles on social media sites to online accounts in cryptocurrencies, can be some of the most important ones a person owns.

How the tax law may affect some estate plans

Since tax reform passed in December, some people in New York might want to revise their estate plans to reflect the change in estate tax. While this is a change that will only affect very wealthy people, even those who do not need to worry about estate tax may want to review their plans. It is a good idea to look over a plan periodically and make sure it is still consistent with a person's goals, assets and relationships.

Including art collections in an estate plan

People in New York who are art collectors may want to include plans for their collection in their estate plan. Collectors may often procrastinate on dealing with art in their estate plan until it is too late. This could be because the collector is undecided as to who to give the collection to, but this can lead to estate tax for the family and conflict over what happens to the art.

Approaching estate planning the right way

As is the custom each New Year's Day, individuals around New York will take some time to reflect upon the resolutions they have made for 2018. Estate planning happens to be one of those life situations that are seldom considered as New Year's resolutions, and this can often result in costly mistakes that can be avoided with adequate legal strategies.

Estate planning for digital assets

One of the difficult issues people in New York may have to address after the death or incapacitation of a loved one is how to manage the digital property they owned. This is particularly difficult if the deceased or disabled person made no legal provisions regarding who would be authorized to manage those assets, which may include domain names, email accounts, online storage accounts or social media accounts. Individuals can take certain steps to ensure that their digital property is handled according to their wishes if they are no longer able to so themselves.

Legal documents for end-of-life issues

Having a will that is properly drafted and addresses end-of-life preferences is the first step in having a sufficient estate plan. However, there are other legal documents that can help ensure that an individual's wishes will be followed if they become incapacitated.

Avoid probate with these simple tips

Probate is something many people try to avoid as they make their estate plans. While it might not be easy for someone with a large estate to bypass probate, New Yorkers without a lot of assets may be able to do this much more easily. There are simple ways to transfer most assets upon death without giving the beneficiary control over them sooner.