Estate Planning

Friday, August 11, 2017

Changing Your Will in New York

How do I update or change my will?

Life is always changing and ever evolving.  In your lifetime, you may marry, divorce, have children, welcome grandkids, switch careers, obtain more assets, and become close to some relatives or estranged from others.  All of these life changes will require that you update your will.  New Yorkers will be glad to hear that amending or even revoking your will can be accomplished with ease.  Our Read more . . .

Monday, August 7, 2017

Updating Your Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations

Far too many individuals approach estate planning as a “once and done” situation, and merely draft up a will and leave it in drawer. A well designed estate plan, however, should consider inevitable changes that will occur during a person’s lifetime. Whether it’s getting married, have children, getting divorced, remarrying or retiring, it is crucial to keep wills, trusts and other estate planning documents updated. Similarly, it is important to ensure that beneficiary designations on retirement accounts are also up to date.

Types of Beneficiary Designations

There are two types of beneficiary designations: per-stirpes and per-capita.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why Your Estate Plan Should Include Advance Medical Directives

There are a number of objectives to estate planning, not the least of which are protecting your legacy and providing for your loved ones. At the same time, it is also important that you plan for type of medical treatment you should receive be in the event that an accident or illness leaves you mentally or physically incapacitated.   

What is a healthcare proxy?

A health care proxy is also referred to as a durable power of attorney for healthcare. This document allows you to designate someone you trust, such as a spouse, a parent, an adult child, or a close  friend, to make medical decisions according to your preferences. This person will act as your agent and coordinate your treatment with your doctor when you are not capable of making these decisions or speaking for yourself.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

What estate planning tools should same-sex couples use to protect themselves and their family?

Estate planning is a crucial step for all couples, but for same-sex couples, creating a thorough estate plan is all the more important.  Same-sex couples often have unique situations that require careful planning.  While the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally in the United States in 2015, the prior patchwork of state laws still impacts estate planning for same-sex couples today. 

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Updating an Estate Plan After a Divorce

How will a divorce affect my estate plan?

In our last blog post, we wrote about the importance of having an estate plan, but there are a number of lifestyle changes that may require modifications to your plan, not the least of which is getting a divorce. Because a marital break-up is a difficult and confusing experience, it helps to have an objective estate planning attorney at the ready to make the necessary changes to your essential documents.

Although some documents cannot be revised until the divorce is settled, it is important to make plans as the case is proceeding and tackle any issues that may affect your estate.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Trusts and Estate Planning

 A trust is a valuable legal tool that can have numerous benefits. To create a trust, a person, referred to as the “settlor” or grantor,” transfers assets into the trust to be managed by a trustee for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. When putting an asset in trust, you are actually transferring ownership of the asset from you personally to the trust. Some trust benefits include, reducing estate tax liability, protecting your estate property, avoiding probate, and protecting your assets from your creditors or the creditors of your heirs.

The knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at the Law Firm of Merlino & Gonzalez are here to create an estate plan that maximizes the benefits for you and your family.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Proper Estate Planning Brings Peace of Mind

Q: Why do I need an estate plan?

“…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”~ Benjamin Franklin

There’s any number of reasons why people continually put off seeing an estate planning attorney. Some are uncomfortable with the thought of dying; others can't decide on legal guardians for their children or make other important decisions that are part of a proper estate plan.
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