Estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide help with the creation of a comprehensive estate plan. Making an estate plan is important to ensure you have control over your legacy and have provided for your loved ones.
Unfortunately, many people do not realize all that is involved in the estate planning process. Far too many people think making a last will and testament is sufficient and that they are done with their estate plan after they have made a will. The reality is, making a will is rarely enough to constitute a comprehensive estate plan and to accomplish all that you wish to accomplish with regards to your future.
When is a Will Not Enough?
There are many situations where simply creating a will isn’t enough and you will need to use other estate planning tools. Some examples of situations where your estate plan needs to go beyond a last will and testament include the following:
- If you have a larger estate: If you have a substantial amount of money and property to pass on, you may need to go beyond the creation of a simple will in order to ensure you do not end up owing estate tax. While tax reform raised the threshold and allows you to pass on more wealth without being taxed on it, estate tax was not eliminated on the federal level and you could still owe New York State estate taxes. Unless you’re passing all your wealth onto your spouse, if your estate is a large one, you should talk with an attorney about the tools you can use to reduce or avoid estate tax.
- If you’re leaving money to minor children: Minor children cannot directly inherit and manage money and property left to them because they are too young. As a result, you will either need to create a plan for who will manage money you leave to underaged children or the court might end up appointing a guardian to manage their inheritance. The creation of a trust will give you the maximum control over how an inheritance left to a child can be used.
- If you have a disabled loved one: Simply passing money onto a disabled loved one in a will creates a number of problems. First, your loved one with a disability might be unable to manage the inheritance effectively. Second, and most important, a direct financial gift could cause your loved one to lose access to means-tested benefits such as Medicaid. Creation of a supplemental needs trust, or special needs trust, could be helpful in ensuring that the money is managed wisely and appropriately and in ensuring that a loss of benefits does not occur.
These are just a few of many situations in which you may need to use trusts or other advanced estate plan tools that go beyond a will in order to best provide for your heirs or beneficiaries.
You will also need to think about making advanced directives for healthcare if you want to control the kinds of care you receive in a medical emergency, and may need to work with an experienced attorney in the creation of an asset protection plan to ensure you actually have wealth to leave behind for loved ones.
Getting Help from Estate Planning Attorneys
Estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. will provide the personalized help and support you need to make effective use of wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents and tools that you need to protect your future and actually create the type of legacy that you want to leave behind.
To find out more about the ways in which our firm can help you with creating a comprehensive, personalized estate plan, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (585) 546-1734 or contact us online to speak with an attorney who will help you make a plan appropriate for your life and family situation. Call now to get started.