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”

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”

Estate Planning for Business Owners

Owning a successful business takes years of hard work and dedication. But failing to establish an estate plan that accounts for your business, could place your business in jeopardy upon death. While many individuals shy away from estate planning because of the chilling thought of death, assuring your business remains viable upon death could mean the difference in providing for your family, employees, and loved ones in the long run. Proper estate planning can take into account various aspects of business ownership and help ensure that your business continues to operate as you see fit. Continue reading “Estate Planning for Business Owners”

Probate vs. Non-Probate Assets

Probate assets are those assets of a decedent that become the property of the estate of a decedent and subject to distribution to the beneficiaries of the estate under the terms of the decedent’s will or the state intestacy statute.  Non-probate assets are those assets that are not a part of the estate subject to distribution because they automatically pass to another by law upon the death of a decedent or have already passed to another prior to the decedent’s death. Continue reading “Probate vs. Non-Probate Assets”