Estate Planning in Forest Hills
It's never too early to begin thinking about your legacy or to shape your estate plan. Contrary to what many people think, you don't need to be a billionaire to have an estate plan. An estate plan in Forest Hills is an important part of any ongoing financial planning process.
Your life, your dreams, your legacy
Your legacy transcends money and also incorporates your principles. Your wishes and dreams may include using your assets to help secure your family's future or you may choose to support another reason close to your heart. This might be your desired charity, your Forest Hills community or your place of worship, to name a few.
Elements of an estate plan
A Will lets you specify your wishes, including how you want your property distributed, who will administer your estate and who will care for your minor children. A probate court is a legal venue for authorizing the terms of a will, or determining how the assets of an individual are distributed to heirs after your death. When an individual dies without a Will, the probate court divides assets according to state law.
A trust holds your assets for the benefit of one or more people (you, your spouse, your children). You'll need an attorney's assistance to create a trust. A living trust is funded by your assets such as property, bank accounts, and bond accounts and certificates that are transferred to the trust during your lifetime; upon your death, these assets are distributed quickly and easily to your designated beneficiaries by your chosen successor.
Life insurance proceeds are paid to a beneficiary at your death.
Gifts are transfers of property made during your life to family, friends or charity.
Tax exclusions are available as important estate planning tools. Consult your tax professional for details.
Preparing to plan your estate
Designing a legacy consistent with your dreams and values is a personal, often complex process. But it's well worth the effort. Consider setting up a family estate planning meeting to help improve communication, prevent conflicts and let your family know what's important to you.
After giving some thought to your wishes, including the needs of family members you want to provide for, seek the professional guidance and estate planning advice you need from your attorney, tax professional and financial advisor. To help you estimate the value of your estate, you'll need to take into consideration:
Current income and likely future income
Current assets and debts
Tax implications of federal transfer taxes, state death taxes and federal income taxes
Revisit your estate plan regularly
Just like your financial plan, it's important to review your Will and other estate planning documents regularly, or when significant life events occur.
Do you find yourself unsure of how assets will pass to your family after your passing? Do you want to be confident that your family is taken care of in the event of your death or disability? Call our office today to gain clarity and peace of mind.