HAVE A QUESTION?
We hope the following questions help give you answers:
With proper planning, Probate can be avoided. There are a number of different techniques which can be used alone or in combination.
From a couple of months to years, depending on your particular case. Factors that affect the length of the probate process include the amount of assets, whether or not there is a valid will and whether anyone is contesting the will.
Depends on the complexity of the estate and whether or not there are disputes involved. Our firm provides reasonable rates and flexible payment options to help clients manage the costs of the probate process.
There is no law stating you need an attorney, but if the estate has significant assets and potential legal issues, you are better served by retaining your own counsel. If you are a beneficiary, you need to make sure you obtain your fair share of the estate. If you are an estate executor or administrator, an experienced lawyer can help you avoid costly personal liabilities.
A general power of attorney authorizes your agent to do almost everything on your behalf, which you could do for yourself. A limited or special power of attorney authorizes your agent to perform only certain acts specifically listed in the document.
In New York signing the power in the presence of a notary is necessary.
This depends upon what the power says. It can be made effective at the time of signing or it can become effective at the time of your incapacity.
All powers of attorney done in connection with estate planning are “durable.” A durable power of attorney is simply a power of attorney that remains effective even if you become incapacitated. A non-durable power of attorney would, of course, be useless in connection with estate planning or disability planning.
Yes. Everyone doing estate planning should execute a durable general power of attorney for financial, property, and legal affairs.
Death revokes a power of attorney. You may also cancel your power of attorney by signing a revocation.
Not only does a Living Trust provide for the disposition of your property (like a Will), but it also offers many other benefits, such as:
1. Avoiding Probate During Life
2. Avoiding Probate Upon Death
3. Avoid Probate for Multiple Generations
4. Holding Assets for Beneficiaries Indefinitely
5. Avoiding Ongoing Probate
6. Avoiding Estate Tax (if married)
7. Eliminating Probate Tax
8. Reducing Legal and Administrative Fees
9. Providing Oversight by Family, not Court
10. Privacy of assets
Because the person you name in your Health Care Proxy as your agent can make health care decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself.
There are trusts, called Special Needs Trusts, which can be established in your Will for a beneficiary who is disabled. A Special Needs Trust allows the beneficiary to keep receiving public benefits like SSI or Medicaid. Having a sibling or other person “hold” assets for a disabled person can present significant risk, as that person may die, become disabled, get divorced, or file for bankruptcy, exposing the assets intended for the disabled beneficiary.
If you suspect the executor is not fulfilling his or her fiduciary duties, you can file a petition to compel an accounting by the executor. This will require the executor to produce a full accounting of his or her activities, including all transactions involving estate assets.
Estate planning seeks to ensure that if you die or become disabled, your personal and financial matters are handled according to your objectives, while minimizing the financial and emotional cost.