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

Posts tagged "Estate Planning"

How a pour-over will can protect a trust

Trusts have become an essential part of estate planning for many people in New York. These instruments can provide a range of benefits to people during their lifetime and beyond. Some kinds of trusts can provide tax advantages. Others provide a much higher level of privacy and control in directing the distribution of a person's assets after he or she passes away. Unlike a will, a trust does not go through the probate court. Therefore, it is not a public document and it is far more complicated or difficult to challenge a trust. In addition, trusts are an important way to pass on wealth to people who are not able to manage it themselves.

Caring for pets after passing away

New York residents may want to make sure that their pets are cared for after their owners pass on. This may be done by adding instructions to a living trust or to a specialized pet trust. It can also be a good idea for pet owners to carry cards that alert others to the presence of their animals. This may prevent a scenario in which an animal is left alone for hours or days after their owners die or become incapacitated.

The benefits of a dynasty trust in estate planning

Families in New York with significant assets frequently use trusts to pass down wealth. These trusts have many advantages related to tax planning and asset control. When a grantor wants to make sure money is passed down even further, perhaps to grandchildren and beyond, they may want to consider using a dynasty trust. This type of trust is designed to last more than one generation past the grantor. It has two unique benefits for multi-generational families.

How chronic illness can impact an estate plan

A chronic illness such as cancer or Alzheimer's disease could have a significant impact on a person's life. It can also influence how a person constructs his or her estate plan. Ideally, an individual who has a chronic illness will create a medical power of attorney as well as create a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) release. This will allow another party to access an individual's health records and make medical decisions on the incapacitated person's behalf.

TOD accounts may simplify estate planning process

An estimated 57 percent of adults in New York and throughout the United States don't have a trust or will. When these individuals pass away, family members must go to a probate court in order to sort out the finances of the deceased. Even those with wills must often go through probate. This can cause contention and hostility between family members and friends. A transfer on death (TOD) account may be the solution to these issues.

Avoiding high-profile estate planning issues

The estate planning practices of many celebrities can serve as a guideline for what New York residents should not do. Unfortunately, lots of celebrities do not create wills, trusts or other key estate documents. This leads to their assets being tied up in years of litigation after they pass away. It was originally reported that Aretha Franklin, the famed singer who passed away in August 2018, did not have a will. Her estate has been in probate court since her death.

What to consider when choosing an IRA beneficiary

Anyone in New York or any other state who has an IRA will ideally name a beneficiary to that account. This is because failing to do so means that it goes into a person's estate when he or she dies. That may increase the potential tax bill that the estate has to pay. In addition to naming a primary beneficiary, it may be necessary to name alternate beneficiaries. Doing so can be helpful in the event that the primary beneficiary dies.

Estate planning mistakes related to benefit plan designations

Many people who start new jobs in New York don't think much about the assortment of paperwork they first get from HR. Some of these documents, such as life insurance forms, company stock purchase plans and retirement plans, require beneficiaries to be named. But when it comes to who gets what when it's time to pass along assets, there's a common assumption that details of this nature will be covered by a will.

How to tell if an estate plan needs work

New York residents and others may not like the thought of estate planning. However, reviewing a plan on a regular basis can help to ensure that it does what an individual wants or needs it to do. For instance, a review session can help to identify whether there are critical components that need to be included. These components could include a will and powers of attorney, and those components should be updated at least once a decade.