New York Will and Estate Lawyer
If you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with a Will or Estate matter, you may already have found out how legally complicated these issues can be. Whether you are handling an estate for someone else, or preparing your own estate plan, it is important to consult with a New York Will and Estate Lawyer early on in the process.
One of the primary tools that are used in Estate Planning to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones after your death are a Will and Trust. A Will is a legal document that allows you to specify what you would like done with your estate after pass away, who you would like to inherit your property, and name a guardian for your child, if applicable. Some people are under the mistaken impression that as long as you have a Will, your estate will not go through Probatepor meee. This is not the case, it is important to realize that even with a Will the estate will go through Probate. Probate is a court process where an executor is appointed to oversee the administration of the estate, which includes paying any outstanding bills, gathering assets, preparing an inventory, paying any taxes, and distributing the assets to the heirs.
If you pass away without a Will, or the document is deemed invalid for whatever reason, the court will grant letters of administration which will appoint an administrator to handle the estate. The job of an administrator is similar to an executor mentioned above. Because there is no Will to guide the administrator, the assets are distributed pursuant to state law, which is known as Intestate Succession. The result of this process may be far removed from what the decent would have intended. This is why it is so important to consult with a New York Estate Lawyer to ensure that all legal details are taken care of.
Of course having a Will is only one part of a solid estate plan. Other documents should also be included to address different aspects of the estate. For instance a Living Trust is an excellent way to avoid Probate all together. When a Trust is created, all of your assets are transferred into the Trust. You can name yourself as the trustee so that you have control over the contents of the Trust while you are alive. You will name a successor trustee to be in charge of the Trust after you pass away. Upon your death, assets of your Trust are then distributed directly to the beneficiaries. The Probate process is avoided all together, which saves headaches, time and money. There are many different kinds of Trusts that can serve a variety of functions depending on your particular needs.
Estate Law can include a wide array of legal issues outside of the initial estate planning arena, such as a Will Contest, where an individual challenges the authenticity of a Will, or Estate Litigation, where perhaps the executor or administrator is charged with negligence in some form for the way they are handling the estate. Tax planning, Powers of Attorney, Conservatorships and many other issues can all enter into an estate matter. These areas of law are very complex, and it is important to seek the help of a New York Probate Lawyer to guide you through the process. Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC will provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation when you contact our office. We have offices centrally located throughout New York, Manhattan Brooklyn Bronx Queens Staten Island to Long Island in both Nassau County and Suffolk County and Westchester County. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW.