Creating An Estate Plan Is A Meaningful Act Of Love
Creating an estate plan allows you to make certain major decisions now, such as who will take care of your children or who will settle your financial affairs upon your death. Additionally, if you suddenly become ill and are not able to manage your health care and finances, an estate plan will ensure that your desires regarding your health, financial matters and a quality of life are fully met. Without an estate plan, the court will make these decisions for you.
Estate Planning Is For Everyone
Estate planning is not just for people who have high incomes and complex assets. At Markus & Sheridan, LLP, we advise our friends and family members to consider an estate plan, no matter their financial situation. It is important for everyone to ensure the assets are given as you wish and that your minor children are cared for by the guardian and trustee you choose rather than leaving it to the uncertainty of the court. Having the right documents in place will give you the peace of mind to know:
- Your assets will be distributed as you wish
- You will have a guardian in place for your children
- Your children’s assets and support will be properly managed for their benefit
To protect you if you are not able to care for yourself, we will prepare a trust or power of attorney to ensure your assets and affairs are properly supervised and that you and your family are protected.
Special Needs Trusts
If you or a loved one has special needs, you may apply for governmental benefits. Having a special needs trust will provide additional resources not covered by such programs.
Assisting You In All Areas Of Estate Planning
Depending on your income and assets, one of our knowledgeable lawyers may be able to help you save on federal and local estate and income taxes. Our attorneys can help you prepare the following elements of an estate plan:
- Will: A will can provide guidance regarding the distribution of your assets when you pass away.
- Guardian for your children: By naming a guardian for your children, either in a will or other estate planning document, you can have a voice in the future of your family. Without naming a guardian, the court will have to determine an appropriate guardian, without knowing who you would have chosen.
- Trust: A trust can shield assets from the probate process, allowing you to create a plan for the distribution of funds to children, loved ones and other beneficiaries. There are many types of trusts available to you, including living trusts, revocable trusts, family trusts and irrevocable life insurance trusts. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of having a will or a living trust as part of your estate plan.
- Power of attorney and durable powers of attorney: A power of attorney allows you to grant authority over your finances to another person. This person does not have to be an attorney; it can be anyone you choose and trust to make decisions for you.
- Health care proxy: Similar to a power of attorney, a health care proxy lets you name an individual who can make health-related decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
Depending on your income and assets, one of our knowledgeable lawyers may be able to help you save on federal and local estate and income taxes.
We Also Represent Clients In Estate Disputes
We have handled a variety of estate litigation matters, including cases successfully fighting for life insurance for children, stopping agents from abusing powers of attorney, will contests and other estate litigation matters.
At Markus & Sheridan, LLP, we know your rights in all areas of estate planning and will represent you in your estate matter. Contact our law firm at 914-241-6300 or 212-682-1115 or email us to discuss your estate planning or litigation needs. We work with clients throughout Westchester County and the surrounding counties, as well as with New York City and Connecticut residents from our office in Mount Kisco.