Articles Tagged with ny estate planning attorney

All too often, unscrupulous people attempt to take advantage of others. This is especially common with elderly individuals. When this happens, it is known as elder financial abuse, and it can have a significant negative effect on your estate. Recently, USA Today reported on this growing problem by discussing testimony from a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging. Below are important steps that you can take to protect yourself and your assets.

  1. Understand Risk Factors

When elderly people face cognitive impairment, this increases the risk that they will be taken advantage of. Additional risk factors include individuals that attempt to isolate an elderly person from their family, friends, or community. Doing so can put an elderly person at increased risk for elder financial abuse.

One of the essential functions of an effective estate plan is efficiently distributing your assets upon death. Using a beneficiary designation on assets that transfer on death can be a tool to efficiently transfer certain assets with ease if properly completed. Assets that can be transferred to a designated beneficiary upon death include insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement accounts, or other investment vehicles that feature a transfer or payable on death designation.

Types of Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations include primary, contingent, and sometimes default beneficiaries. Upon the death of the owner, the asset will be transferred or disbursed to the primary beneficiary. If the primary designation fails, then the contingent beneficiary will receive the transferred asset. The default beneficiary will receive the transferred asset in the event there are no other primary or contingent beneficiaries designated to receive the asset. In some cases the default beneficiary may be a trust established by the owner of the asset, or the owner’s estate.

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