An article this week from West Fair Online explained how professionals working with residents on financial issues have seen a significant increase in demand for their services as of late. While there may be a tendency among some to become paralyzed when the economy is so volatile, many others view the instability as a time to act prudently and plan ahead as much as possible. The article reports what our New York estate planners have long known: the need to have an estate plan remains strong regardless of the circumstances.
Experts know that the need for prudent planning is perhaps even more important at times like these, when there tax and policy uncertainties at the local, state, and federal levels. One planner interviewed for the story explained how in turbulent financial times “the area’s residents should have a vested interest in knowing what the stakes are for their assets.” While those residents at the top income levels are often more aware of how the laws affect them, many middle class families have just as much to gain by using the legal tools available to plan their financial future and save taxes in the long-term.
Most observers have applauded the steady rise in estate planning awareness. However, there are still a few groups which continue to neglect their planning needs. For example, many local small business owners continue to miss out on opportunities to visit with a New York estate planning lawyer to take care of long-term financial goals. Of course, small business owners wear many hats. Rarely do they have time to accomplish everything on their “to do” list each day. Yet, many benefits have been reported by those who have carved out time to visit with financial professionals to protect assets, create a succession plan, and conduct similar tasks.
Also, a growing number of estate disputes faced by families have increased the popularity of estate planning. Many onlookers of these family fights have come to realize that the problem can be avoided if professionals are consulted ahead of time. Estate litigators have noticed a surge in family inheritance infighting caused in part because seniors are living longer but often not while maintaining their mental capacity. Without iron-clad plans in place ahead of time, vulnerable seniors often find themselves taken advantage of by less than scrupulous friends and family members trying to access funds. One litigator remarked, “A lot of wrongdoing takes place while mom is still alive but on her way down hill.”
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