While some New York parents may wish to split their assets equally among their children, there is no requirement to do so. For instance, a parent may decide to give one child a larger share that the others will be receiving. This could be because a child played a bigger role in caring for a parent or simply had a closer relationship.
For many New York residents, their most valuable asset is their IRA or other retirement account. Therefore, it is often prudent for individuals to find ways in which they can pass these assets to the individuals of their choice.
New York residents may be aware of a Medicare policy that reimburses doctors for holding end-of-life counseling sessions with their patients. However, many physicians are still reluctant to speak on the subject because of their reluctance or a lack of training. Medicare will reimburse physicians $86 for holding advance care planning sessions up to 30 minutes long. Doctor's assistants and nurse practitioners will also receive pay for counseling their patients, which can be done in hospitals or during routine visits to doctor's offices.
One of the purposes of estate planning is to allow people to retain control over the distribution of their assets upon their death. Sometimes, however, the person creating a trust or a will might want to permit heirs to control the distribution of assets that are left to them. There are methods for accomplishing this, but the maker of a will or trust should understand the consequences.
New York residents who have wills likely appointed an executor whose job is to make sure the testator's wishes are carried out. This typically involves managing an estate until the testator's assets and property can be divided among beneficiaries, but there are instances when a beneficiary must take action if an executor is not properly administering an estate.
There are many events in a New York resident's life that could trigger an update to their estate plan. If people have yet to draw up their first will, they may start thinking about what to put in their will during the important events in their life. Some of the life events that can tell a person it's time to write or amend a will could be a marriage, the birth of a child, a divorce or the death of a family member.
Estate planning is an ongoing process for New York residents. The initial estate planning documents that are created usually need to be updated every few years to reflect changes to asset values, state residency and family structure. Some people might wish to update their estate plans in order to take advantage of tax saving strategies or modify the list of beneficiaries of their estate.
In the past, an irrevocable trust may have had one trustee or two co-trustees to oversee its execution. Today, there may be many people serving in key roles to ensure that the trust is properly executed. One important role is that of the general trustee who keeps records and who files tax returns for the trust. In some states, it may be possible for one person to create a trust, be a beneficiary of the trust and hold assets outside of the trust.
With every new year, New York residents may wish to review their estate plan documents in the event there are changes in federal and state estate tax laws. An estate plan that is not current with the laws and rules may be subject to unexpected taxes or other changes, which could ultimately affect a testator's beneficiaries.
Individuals in New York who are working on their estate plan may wonder how to ensure that their beneficiaries get the most amount of money from that estate. Even those who fall well under the $5.45 million estate tax exemption can benefit from strategies that keep the money in the family.