Estate Planning

You need estate planning for the management and preservation of your assets.

Estate planning can reduce or eliminate estate and gift taxes as well as eliminate

probate and estate administration expenses. Since 1955, Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC has been dedicated to providing our New York clients with quality estate planning services, such as drafting living trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, charitable planning documents, and more. Pet owners, divorced people, same sex couples and unmarried couples have special estate planning needs.

As part of the estate planning process, many subjects must be considered, including:

  • The objectives of estate planning;
  • Legal documents typically used to accomplish these objectives, especially a will, health care proxy and a durable power of attorney;
  • The effect of beneficiary designations and joint ownership of assets on the disposition of assets at death;
  • Gift & Estate taxes ;  ((4))
  • Use of a living trust; and ((6))
  • Long Term Care Planning.

An estate plan is a “plan” on how to dispose of property owned  at  death by using  certain documents setting forth your wishes as to the distribution of non-jointly owned property after death; assets held jointly with another with the right of survivorship; life insurance and pensions.

An estate plan may be decided by New York State if you die owning assets in your individual name and have not made a plan. This is known as dying intestate (without a will), and  New York State’s laws of intestacy, as well as the tax laws, determine how the assets will be distributed.

Part of an estate plan is the appointment of decision makers such as:

  • An agent to “stand in your shoes” and make decisions for you under a power of attorney for property or a health care proxy, prior to your death when you are no longer able to make your own decisions.
  • An executor to carry out your estate distribution plan under your will.
  • A trustee to administer a trust formed while you were living (an inter vivos trust) or a trust set up by your will (a testamentary trust).

The appointment of a decision maker may be one of the most important decisions you make in forming your estate plan. The persons that  you appoint will have broad powers to act for you. It is essential that you appoint honest, reliable persons who will act in your best interests. Your decision maker should be able to serve as your advocate and be  to work with professionals such as physicians, attorneys, and bankers.

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