Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions
Answers from experienced attorneys in Brooklyn
At Anderson & Cahill, LLP, we believe that the more educated our clients are about their legal challenges, the better we can serve their needs. We understand that some of the fears our clients have stem from not understanding how the New York or federal legal system operates. As your attorneys, we look forward to helping you understand your legal matters so you can make confident decisions.
- What does a typical estate plan include?
- What are the benefits of retaining an estate planning attorney rather than relying on estate planning books or software?
- What happens if I die without a will or trust?
- What is probate?
- How do I know which type of trust is best for me?
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To schedule an appointment with an estate planning attorney who is dedicated to protecting your interests, call Anderson & Cahill, LLP at 718.530.0220 or contact us online.
A typical estate plan includes a will, a trust, a durable power of attorney and a living will.
What are the benefits of retaining an estate planning attorney rather than relying on estate planning books or software?
Although purchasing estate planning software can possibly be lower in cost compared to hiring an attorney, you should take into account that estate planning is a very complex process. Alternatives to estate planning attorneys often take one-size-fits-all approaches, which often fail to meet your needs and may result in unintended consequences. An experienced attorney can carefully formulate, review and execute your estate plan according to your wishes.
If you die without a will or trust in New York, the state court determines how your property and assets are distributed among your family and in what proportion. In New York, the surviving spouse has interest in the whole estate after you pass. If you have a spouse and children, the spouse receives $50,000 and one-half of the balance within the estate. The children receive the other half.
Probate is a court-supervised process by which your assets and property are distributed after your death.
While there are many kinds of trusts, the most common are revocable and irrevocable trusts. Revocable trusts, sometimes called living trusts, are done during your lifetime and you, as the grantor, maintain control over the trust. An irrevocable trust can be created during your life. It cannot be altered without the consent of the beneficiary. Based on your personal and financial situation, an estate planning attorney can thoroughly explain all your trust options.