Top reasons to draft or update your will

This article is provided by our firm, Quinn & Tyrrell, Long Island trusts and estates lawyers for informational purposes.  If you have any questions contact our firm for a free conultation

What is the purpose of a will?
Planning is important. We spend a lifetime gathering valuables and assets, and it is important that you exercise your right to ensure that your valuables and assets pass to the appropriate beneficiaries.  There are many reasons to draft or update your will

What happens if I do not have a will?
In New York, if you pass away without a will and have a spouse with no children, all of your assets pass you your spouse. If you have a spouse and children, $50,000 and one-half of your estate passes to your spouse, the remaining half passes equally among your children.

What if I made a will, but lost the original copy?
In New York, if you pass away and your original will is lost, there is a presumption that you intended to revoke it. If you misplaced your original will, you should draft a new one.

Other than a will, are there any other important documents for estate planning?
Yes, other important documents include:
1. Power of Attorney
2. Healthcare Proxy
3 Living Will

Why should I update my will?
Our lives change from year to year, and we encounter new and different opportunities.   The following facts help to exemplify the reason you should update your will.
1. Changes in your family including marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, or the death of someone named in your will.
2. Changes in your financial status
3. Your will has not been updated recently. Changes in law may impact your will.

Should I be concerned about estate taxes?
New York State and the Federal Government only tax your estate if you have beyond a specific amount of money. After April 1, 2017, estates under $5,250,000 are tax free under New York law. Under Federal law, estates under $5,340,000 are tax free.

What are the benefits of a trust?
The creation of a trust can be extremely beneficial. Trusts can be tailor made to fit any number of scenarios. For example, a spendthrift trust is a great way to provide support to a loved one, wil protecting the principal from being garnished by any creditors. Other trusts include: Special Needs Trusts for the disabled, Medicaid trusts, insurance trusts and trusts for the benefit of a minor.

What are the benefits of retaining a life estate in real property?
It can be beneficial to transfer your real estate and retain a life estate. In doing so, you retain the right to live on and use your real estate for your life, and upon your death, the ownership rights to your property are transferred automatically to a designated person, avoiding the need to include it in your will. In transferring your real estate to a life estate you will not lost your right to claim tax exemptions, such as enhanced star and senior citizen exemptions.

Top reasons to draft or update your will

The information provided in this article by Quinn & Tyrrell is for informational purposes only. The information contained herein must not be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions contact our firm, Quinn & Tyrrell, Long Island Trusts and Estates lawyers.

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