Personal Property Should Always Be Addressed in a Last Will and Testament

last will and testament lawyer Long IslandMore often than not, a Last Will and Testament fails to address a decedent’s wishes for how to distribute his or her personal property. Personal property may include low-value tangible items, keepsakes, high-end artwork, jewelry, antiques, coin collections or valuable wine or liquor collections, among other things. Continue reading “Personal Property Should Always Be Addressed in a Last Will and Testament”

The Fundamentals of Capacity when Executing a Will

estate plan lawyer Nassau CountyThe main component to executing a Last Will and Testament or any advance directive is that a testator must have testamentary capacity at the time of execution. In accordance with New York State law, a person must be of “sound mind.”

Specifically, the testator “must have the intelligent knowledge of his or her natural objects of their bounty, property, and possessions, and must know what he or she wishes to do with those assets.” Continue reading “The Fundamentals of Capacity when Executing a Will”

Creating a Trust May be in Your Best Interest

Garden City estate planning lawyerA Last Will and Testament addresses how a person wishes his or her assets to be distributed upon their death. A Will sets forth detailed information regarding the distribution of any real property, vehicles, boats, tangible and intangible belongings, and often life insurance, among others. In addition, it may also designate certain assets to charitable institutions. It is worth noting that a Will can be revoked or replaced at any time and should be reviewed on a regular basis to reflect any life changes. Continue reading “Creating a Trust May be in Your Best Interest”

A Delay in the Probate Process May Require a Petition for the Appointment of Preliminary Executor

Garden City estate planning lawyerProbate refers to the process before a Surrogate’s Court judge, where a Last Will and Testament is admitted, an executor is appointed, and assets are distributed to beneficiaries. This process takes place in the county where a decedent resided at the time of his or her death. Under New York State law, a nominated executor must file a petition for probate, along with a decedent’s Last Will and Testament, and must provide notice to the decedent’s heirs; otherwise, a decedent’s Last Will and Testament will not be admitted to probate. The reason for this process is to provide distributees the opportunity to contest a decedent’s Will. Continue reading “A Delay in the Probate Process May Require a Petition for the Appointment of Preliminary Executor”

The Difference Between a Living Will and a Last Will and Testament

estate planning lawyer Garden CityLiving Will

A living will is a medical directive outlining how a person wishes to be treated in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for themselves. A living will may address situations involving: Continue reading “The Difference Between a Living Will and a Last Will and Testament”

What To Do If You Don’t Have The Original Last Will And Testament

New York probate lawyerProbate is the process in Surrogates Court where a Last Will and Testament is proved and accepted, an executor is appointed and all assets are distributed to the intended recipients as stated in the Will. Joint assets with a right of survivorship, life insurance policies or other assets that name a beneficiary are not probated. The probate process includes paying estate taxes, debts, taxes and administrative costs, as well as distributing assets to the intended beneficiaries. Continue reading “What To Do If You Don’t Have The Original Last Will And Testament”

Distributing A Decedent’s Personal Property

estate plan lawyer Garden CityEstate assets are distributed in accordance with a decedent’s Last Will and Testament. Oftentimes, a Last Will and Testament will provide guidelines as to how a decedent’s personal property shall be distributed. However, there may still be personal property remaining that does not have specific instructions for its distribution. In regard to this remaining personal property, there are many ways to distribute a decedent’s personal items when there are no instructions available, though there are some general ways. Continue reading “Distributing A Decedent’s Personal Property”

Disinheriting A Child May Result in a Will Contest

A disinherited child has the right to contest a parent’s Will if he or she is disinherited, not named as a beneficiary or left with a disproportionate share. In accordance with the laws of estate administration, a disinherited child is allowed to contest a Will because he or she would have been entitled to a share of a parent’s estate if he or she had died without a Will. Continue reading “Disinheriting A Child May Result in a Will Contest”

Disinheriting A Spouse In A Will Or Estate Plan In New York State

disinheriting a spouse NYOrdinarily, in New York State, a decedent is unable to disinherit his or her spouse. According to Section 5-1.1-A , Right of Election by a Surviving Spouse of the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, a surviving spouse is required to receive a share of the decedent’s estate. It states that the share will be equal to the greater of $50,000 or one-third of the decedent’s estate. Continue reading “Disinheriting A Spouse In A Will Or Estate Plan In New York State”

Will a Divorce Affect My Last Will and Testament?

New York divorce lawyerAfter an individual executes a Last Will and Testament, there may be changes in their life that could affect the way their assets are distributed under their last will and testament. One of the more common changes that may affect a Will is a divorce. A divorce can be an overwhelming experience, and often times, people do not think about the important estate planning implications that a divorce may have. Continue reading “Will a Divorce Affect My Last Will and Testament?”