Many people purchase life insurance through an employer sponsored insurance plan, and they do so almost as an afterthought. But what people may not realize is that life insurance can play an important role in estate planning, and is just one piece of the puzzle in a comprehensive estate plan. While many plan for the proceeds of a life insurance policy to replace the income of the deceased, there are other financial considerations and objectives that can be accomplished with a life insurance … [Read more...] about How can Life Insurance fit into an Estate Plan?
Probate is the legal process which administers the estate of a deceased person and transfers ownership of their assets. Probate law varies from state to state, as does the process of probating a will or estate, so let’s focus on the particulars of probate in New York. Probate takes place in probate court upon the death of an individual. In New York, this court is known as the Surrogate’s Court. The New York probate process is considered somewhat less burdensome than many other states, but … [Read more...] about The New York Probate Process
A trust is a valuable estate planning tool, but many don’t realize how their estate can benefit by creating a trust. First, let’s look at how a trust operates. A trust repositions assets to an artificial entity (the trust) to hold and manage, normally for the benefit of your heirs. Assets that can be titled to a trust include, but are certainly not limited to: Real estate; Stocks and bonds; Certificates of Deposit; Art and other valuable personal property; Businesses; and Life … [Read more...] about Why Would I Need a Trust?
The choice to disinherit a child is never an easy one. Disinheriting or failing to provide for a child in your Will, sends a clear signal about your feelings towards that child. Perhaps they cannot hold a steady job, are addicted to drugs and alcohol or are prone to criminal acts or violence; perhaps they are of financial means great enough that they do not need an inheritance as much as your other children. Whatever the reason, you risk creating a strong rift in the family if all of your … [Read more...] about Disinheriting a Child
Many people don’t realize that their Wills can’t control what happens to some of their most important assets. Houses, retirement accounts, proceeds from life insurance policies, and brokerage and bank accounts can all pass to others, regardless of what your will might say. Your will also doesn’t affect certain property that you own with others. Some property for example, is titled so that the surviving owners automatically inherit the property when one owner dies. Known as “joint tenancy with … [Read more...] about Joint Tenancy and Your Will
An incentive trust is basically an irrevocable trust that provides a monetary incentive for an heir to behave according to standards set forth in the trust document. Typically, incentive trusts can be used for heirs that you wish to provide for, but who may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, display criminal behavior, have trouble holding a job, or engage in other undesirable behaviors. An incentive trust must state the behavior that must be adhered to before trust assets are dispersed. You may … [Read more...] about What is an Incentive Trust?
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