It’s a fact that approximately 65-percent of Americans walk around everyday with no will or trust, or any estate plan laid out for the future and the future of their family.
Without a further trust plan, kids automatically inherit at 18-years-old; 50% goes to children and parents want to properly allocate this to avoid potential issues. Even when “children” may be of adult age, just because a person is over the age of 18 does not mean they are ready for the responsibility of managing what could be hundreds of thousands of dollars — or more. A will or trust is necessary for some control in these aspects, allowing you to not only determine who gets what, but when and in what increments. It’s possible to be very specific, which is what makes the practice of estate planning such a great tool for managing wealth and assets.
When it comes to preparing for the possibility that you may not be able to make all decisions impacting your health for the rest of your life, you need a Health Care Proxy. The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows people to appoint someone they trust as the authority representing them for all health care decisions if the person is not deemed able to speak for themselves. For example, a family member or close friend can make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. By appointing a health care agent, you can make sure that health care providers follow your wishes. Hospitals and doctors must follow your agent’s decisions as if they were your own.
To put it bluntly, we are all more statistically inclined to become mentally incapacitated then to drop dead. Without planning in place, your estate goes to probate court, and when it comes to medical decisions, your proxy needs to be intimately familiar with your philosophy of life.
Financial Power of Attorney
Financial power of attorney is who can sign your signature, and you must know- are they gonna do the right thing when no one looking over your shoulder?
Bloodline and Legacy Planning
Let’s say this is the second marriage for at least one member of a newly married couple. It’s crucial that the person with the children has a trust plan in place. This is to protect the future overall well-being of the kids. Regardless of the divorce, if a couple saved together, that money should go to their descendants and not go to the new spouse.
Trust planning is like allocating money to be used on children in different “buckets” – money meant to go toward the health and education of the child, not to the new spouse, that spouse has no legal right to that money, it’s to the kids and their kids. Creditors can’t put a lean on these “buckets” which is extremely helpful in some cases.
Contact Brooklyn Estate Planning Attorney Michael F. Kanzer for all of your estate planning questions and concerns.