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

Estate Planning Archives

What to do after executing an estate plan

For New York residents and others, creating an estate plan is an ongoing event. After the paperwork has been drafted and executed, there are many tasks that still need to be completed. For instance, it may be necessary to make sure that a trust is properly funded and that the trust owns the items placed inside of it.

Reasons to use estate planning

New York residents may use estate planning as a way to help prevent their estates from being overly taxed. However, with the passage of certain federal estate tax legislation, which has increased the number of exemptions for estate, federal, gift and GST taxes, people may want to take the time to consider other reasons why estate planning can be a good idea.

Business owners can benefit from an estate plan

Small business owners in New York may have particularly strong reasons to think about their estate plans. Several celebrities have died without wills, leaving behind confused beneficiaries and valuable music catalogs. For exampleAretha Franklin's 2018 death without a will came despite the fact that she had an estate worth approximately $80 million. Prince died without a will in 2016, leaving behind a $300 million estate that has still not been finalized due to disputes among potential beneficiaries. The kinds of delays and problems caused when something like a business is not addressed can be devastating to the future of the enterprise as well as emotionally draining to loved ones.

Why everyone can benefit from an estate plan

Being too young or being single and childless are some of the common excuses people in New York often use to justify not making estate planning a priority. According to one survey, the majority of millennials don't have a will. While some people may not want to think about what will happen after their death, procrastinating can have potentially serious consequences. For instance, if an individual dies without a will, which is referred to in legal terms as intestate, the state will determine how assets and property are divided. Without a medical directive in place, the default decision is usually to prolong life artificially.

How to incorporate digital assets into an estate plan

The rise of digital assets has drastically changed estate planning for many people. An individual can't simply add a digital wallet to their will as if it was a vacation home in New York or expensive jewelry. They'll need to include quite a bit of additional information so that those assets are quickly handed over to heirs.

Estate planning considerations for single people without children

Many individuals in New York do not have a spouse or children to call upon for help as they age. Nationwide, approximately 19.5 million people age 65 or older live alone. For people who do not have any close relatives, issues involving financial security and long-term care during their elderly years pose extra challenges.

Strategies for transferring wealth to future generations

A parent in New York who is trying to decide how to divide their assets should have confidence in their ultimate decision. This is true regardless of what adult children or other family members may feel. Children are urged to not let the size of their inheritance act as a proxy for the size of their parent's love. Parents should talk with their children and others ahead of time to discuss how assets will be divided.

Including collectibles in an estate plan

When people in New York plan for the future of their family and their assets, they may be concerned about how best to pass on valuable collectible objects like artwork and memorabilia. These items are not the only types of personal property that may have a high financial value; they can also hold significant amount of sentimental value to their owners as well as to others in the family. In a study by Deloitte, over 80 percent of art collectors noted that they considered their collections to be a valuable investment. Just like other types of investments, estate plans need to take proper steps to deal with the distribution of artwork and collectibles.

What's missed in estate planning

Suffolk County residents are often encouraged to plan for emergencies or retirement, but planning for death isn't commonly discussed even if it is inevitable. Failing to plan can cause numerous legal troubles, financial burdens and discord in the event of a loved one's passing.

Estate planning can be critical for the future

When people in New York plan for the future for themselves and their families, estate planning can be a big part of the picture. However, only 4 out of every 10 Americans over the age of 60 have important documents in place to deal with their finances or healthcare decisions in case of incapacity. These kinds of documents can help to protect people from elder abuse, fraud and other types of negative outcomes. Across the country, 20 percent of Americans over 65 are financially abused; however, only 10 percent expect that it could happen to them.