Preparing Today For A Secure Tomorrow
Estate planning is something you can do to ensure that your family understands what you want to happen should you become unable to voice your wishes. In these unsteady and unpredictable times, more people are recognizing the need to take action today, rather than wait for a tragedy to strike.
At Simon Law Group, PLLC, we are here to help ensure that you are prepared. We can help you with many estate planning tools. We will explain in clear terms how each option best serves your goals.
What Is An Estate?
For some of us, when we think of “estate” we think of a turn of the century, rambling stone structure set on acres and acres of picturesque hills, possibly overlooking the Connetquot River. The reality is, an estate is merely another way of saying “everything you own.”
Your estate means any and all of your property—including timeshare and frequent flyer miles, your car and house, home furnishings, art, collectibles, jewelry, savings, recreational vehicles, musical instruments, checking and investments—everything. Anyone who owns anything has an estate.
If you do not designate which items are to go to which people, New York State will decide. This includes deciding, should both you and the other parent die, who will raise your children. There are other facets to your will that can also help your family know what to do if you become incapacitated or if you die.
Getting The “Basic Five” Documents
While there are many, many different estate planning tools, most of us only need five basic estate planning documents. We can help you create any or all of them. We assist with:
- Last will and testament: Simply called a will. This sets forth your wishes for your estate, basically “who gets what.” It can be as detailed as you want or need it to be. It also designates who you want to raise your children if the unthinkable happens to you and the other parent.
- Health care power of attorney (POA): Medical POA gives the person you designate the power to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are not able to.
- Durable financial POA: You may wish to designate someone to handle your finances during the time you are incapacitated and after you pass on. Durable means that this power continues after your death, but you can give a person limited POA if that better suits your needs. Springing POA only starts after a medical doctor has determined that you are incapacitated.
- Advance health care directive: This spells out which procedures and what types of care you want in the event you cannot tell medical personnel. It is an act of generosity to do this so that this decision is not left to your family members when they are in a state of shock or grief.
- A living trust: In some cases, it is in your best interest to place assets into a revocable living trust. We can discuss this.
There are of course other tools that may be advisable. We will work to ensure that all of your accounts and assets have a beneficiary or a designation in your will. We can also work with you to update your documents should your personal or family dynamics change: a marriage, divorce, birth, death, adoption or any other change in the relationship.
Let’s Talk About What You Need Today
The first step, while often is the hardest, is the most important. Whether you already have documents that need to be updated or amended or just want to finally get that will made, we can help. Call us at 631-920-4683 or connect via website contact email. In Commack, we serve the family law and estate planning needs of clients throughout Long Island.