Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Tips on estate transfers

New York residents who have assets they want to be managed a certain way after they die should have an estate plan. An estate plan, which should at least include a will, a living trust and a power of attorney form, can ensure that one's wishes are carried out and that their loved ones and assets are protected. However, there are certain steps individuals should take to make sure that their estate plan is effective.

An individual's will should state his or her intentions clearly and correctly. The will should be reviewed after it has been completed to verify all wanted beneficiaries are mention and that each one is bequeathed the share of assets according to the intentions of the testator.

Individuals should also be sure to name their beneficiaries on retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs. If a beneficiary is named in the will, but not on the account, the retirement plan can be heavily taxed and may even have to go through probate. For nonretirement investment accounts, a transfer-on-death registration should be completed. This allows beneficiaries to have access to assets like any brokerage or bank accounts without the hassle, time and costs that can occur if the assets have to undergo probate.

An attorney who provides estate planning services may assist individuals with choosing which legal tools are necessary for their particular set of circumstances. The attorney may assist with drafting a will, establishing the provisions of a trust and designing a strategy to minimize estate taxes.

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