When many area residents are told to consider visiting a New York estate planning lawyer their mind immediately envisions someone who will craft a will or a create a trust. However, estate planning is much more than document creation. Instead, it is best viewed as a process by which an individual works to eliminate future uncertainties and reduce potential financial complications for their loved ones. Wills and trusts may be a component of that process, but they are by no means its sum total.
This multifaceted approach to estate planning was nicely summarized this weekend in an article at Today Online. Most local community members spend a large part of their lives on asset accumulation–the process of building up their estate. Yet the important considerations of asset preservation and distribution are often given only minimal thought. That is where the New York estate planning attorney comes in.
Beyond mere drafting of wills and trusts, these professionals are capable of helping you determine what strategies will ensure that extended medical costs, taxes, and other factors swallow as little of your accumulated wealth as possible. This may involve the creation of a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust or perhaps advice on the acquisition of long-term care insurance. In any event, the most important part of the process is figuring out what needs to be done to best save your wealth–the creation of documents to actually carry out those wishes only occurs later.
In addition to preserving your estate, the planning process also involves a discussion of its ultimate distribution. This includes both ensuring that your estate is divided as you wish but also that the division occurs in as quick and straightforward a manner as possible. Many clients remain surprised by the type of advice and information that they receive about how their estate can be distributed. For example, many conditions can be placed on when an inheritance is dispersed or how it is spent for certain family members. The options are essentially unlimited. Understanding those choices and matching them with your wishes is a vital part of the process.
A balanced approach to your assets requires that you not devote all your time to estate accumulation, but also give some honest forethought to estate preservation and distribution. A New York elder law estate planning lawyer will be able to work with you on this process, guaranteeing that you consider all the issues that matter and take sound steps to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
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