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Posts tagged "estate planning"

How to account for digital assets in an estate plan

Since there are now many new types of assets available to New Yorkers, it's important to know how to account for them in an estate plan. For instance, those who have digital coins will need to find a way to grant access to executors and other designated parties. Currently, 42 states have laws allowing digital assets to be managed in a similar fashion to physical assets.

Estate plan best practices for any political climate

New York residents may know that changes to the tax code could have an impact on an estate plan. However, there are steps that individuals should take to protect their wealth regardless of whether or not there are any significant changes on the horizon. For example, it can be a good idea to review a plan regularly to check whether beneficiary designations or terms of a trust need to be changed.

Deciding when a child can have his or her inheritance

Parents in New York may have many issues to consider when creating an estate plan. If they intend to leave money to their children, it is important to think about when they should be able to access that money. Individuals have the option of making distributions from a trust dependent on certain events taking place or on a predetermined timeline. There is also the option of making distributions based on other criteria a grantor deems appropriate.

Advisers aren't always right about trusts

Trusts can be an effective estate planning tool for New York residents. However, they may not always be needed. Furthermore, a trust could be constructed in a way that doesn't meet a person's needs. For instance, making a gift could reduce the amount of a person's estate and take advantage of the $11.8 million federal estate and gift tax exemption. However, if a person needs the gifted money later, it may not ultimately benefit him or her to make that gift.

Make sure a trust is properly funded

People in New York often rely on trusts for the flexibility and control they provide during the estate planning process. In addition to the detailed vision for the future of a person's assets that trusts provide, they also enable people and their loved ones to avoid the complications and costs associated with the probate process. However, in order for people to make sure their plans are fully effective, it is important to ensure that the trusts they create are funded with all of the property that they want to include in the vehicle.

The different types of special needs trusts

Some people in New York who are creating an estate plan and have relatives with special needs might wonder whether a special needs trust might be an appropriate way to provide for those individuals. A trust is an estate planning vehicle that generally involves three participants, which are the creator of the trust, the trustee and the beneficiary. A special needs trust may be used to reduce the value of the creator's estate for tax purposes or an estate's value in order for a person to be eligible for Medicaid.

How interest rates impact trust decisions

Trust planning professionals in New York and throughout the country should be aware that interest rates are likely to rise in the short-term. It is also likely that the past decade of low interest rates is set to gradually come to an end. Therefore, it is a good idea for those professionals to start adjusting the advice that they give to their clients.

What to put in an estate plan

While a will is an essential part of an estate plan, it should not be the whole plan. An estate plan should lay out what a New York resident wants to happen after he or she dies, why it should happen and who will make sure that it does. By putting together a formal plan, it can make life easier for heirs and save them money when it comes time to settle the estate.

Revising an estate plan during a divorce

When people in New York experience a major life change, such as a divorce, it might be necessary to also make changes to their estate plan. Some changes may be made during the divorce. For example, if the spouse has been chosen to make healthcare decision if the person is incapacitated, an individual may want to choose someone else for this role. The person may also want to consider whether the financial power of attorney should be changed. A spouse who is named in this document will be able to control all the person's assets in the event of incapacity.

Estate planning provides protection for the future

When people in Onondaga County think about the future, it can be important to make preparations to protect one's assets and one's loved ones. However, despite the importance of estate planning to meet those goals, at least 40 percent of older Americans do not have basic documents in place that can help them ensure their financial and health matters are addressed if they become incapacitated or pass away. When people don't have the framework in place to protect themselves, they can become more vulnerable to those with ill intent; 20 percent of Americans over 65 are the victims of financial abuse.