Westchester & Putnam County Estate Planning Lawyer
Providing Peace of Mind
Our Asset Protection Plan or Estate Plan gives you an orderly disposition of your assets and avoids many of the problems faced by those who fail to plan. Our Asset Protection Plans and Estate Plans are custom drafted to meet your specific needs and objectives. No two families are the same. After a consultation with Meyer & Spencer, we will provide you with a proposal with several options for you to consider.
During our initial consultation, we will gather information which allows us to determine which plan best suits your needs;
- How we can protect your assets from future nursing home costs;
- Whether a Long Term Care Insurance Policy is beneficial to you; and
- Whether you need an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust to provide liquidity for your Estate;
The earlier we get involved, the more options you have.
Without proper planning, your family may:
- Lose everything to nursing home costs;
- Pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in avoidable Estate Taxes;
- Pay thousands in avoidable Probate fees and costs;
- Become entangled in Guardianship Proceedings;
- Fight over health care decisions; and
- Fight over financial decisions.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Estate Planning Checklist
Estate planning topics to discuss with Meyer & Spencer and your financial planner:
- Why should I have a Will?
- Do I need a living Will?
- What is a Health Care Proxy?
- Should I give my spouse/child a Durable Power of Attorney?
- What is Probate and should I try to avoid it?
- What are the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?
- Can I protect my assets through the use of a Trust?
- Will my Estate incur any Estate Taxes?
- Will a Credit Shelter Trust decrease my Estate Tax liability?
- How can an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust help my heirs?
- How can I best care for a disabled child/spouse after my death?
- What options do I have with my IRAs?
- Will charitable gifting provide me with any tax advantages?
- How can a family Limited Partnership assist with the transition of control of my business?
- Can I provide gifts to my children grandchildren and still maintain control?
Estate Planning FAQs
The Westchester & Putnam County estate planning lawyers of Meyer & Spencer, PC are dedicated to providing in-depth counseling to accomplish comprehensive estate planning. One of our primary objectives is to take the mystery out of the estate planning process so that individuals and families have peace of mind rather than confusion when facing the incapacity or death of a loved one. In that spirit, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about estate planning. For assistance with your own estate plan, please contact our offices in Pleasantville or Mahopac, NY.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is how you provide for your family and administer your assets, both before and after your death. It may involve supporting a spouse or minor children, minimizing taxes, managing investments, or operating a business. Too many people only become concerned with estate planning near the end of their lives, but the truth is that it’s something everyone should be thinking about long before it may be needed.
What documents are necessary to create an estate plan?
Depending on the size of your estate, your family dynamic, your health, and your own goals for creating an estate plan, a few or several documents may be necessary to create a comprehensive estate plan to fit your needs. At a minimum, you’ll need a will, possibly a trust, maybe several different types of trusts, and advance directives for health care in the event of incapacity.
What information is necessary for estate planning?
An inventory of your assets and liabilities is the starting point for your estate plan. While fair market value of your assets can be estimated (in most cases), ownership or title must be determined exactly. Copies of documents, such as deeds, stock certificates, and insurance policies, are necessary to avoid mistakes regarding ownership. Bottom line: if you think any information may be necessary for your estate plan, it probably is.
What is included in an estate?
Your estate is simply everything you own, anywhere in the world, including your home, any other real estate you own, a business, your share of any joint accounts, the full value of your retirement accounts, any life insurance policies you own, and any property owned by a trust over which you have significant control. Sadly, many people don’t do any formal estate planning because they don’t think they have “a lot of assets” or mistakenly believe their assets will automatically pass to their spouse and/or children. However, if you don’t have an estate plan, New York’s intestacy laws will take over upon your death or incapacity. This often results in the wrong people getting your assets, as well as higher estate taxes.