An estate plan is more than just a will. It is a flexible, comprehensive plan that considers your needs, plans for minimization of taxes and an optimal amount of privacy.
A will alone often cannot accomplish this and therefore does not equate to the same level of protection as having an estate plan. I draft and review many estate planning documents, from relatively simple matters to complex matters with significant tax implications.
These documents can include:
A will gives you the power to make a plan to decide who will receive your money and property after you die. It also allow you to name your executor, the person who will administer the terms of the will.
Another way to manage your property and money is through a trust. There are many types of trusts, and the one you choose will depend on your needs and the needs of the people you want to share your money and property with.
You can get help managing your money and health decisions using other legal documents, like a power of attorney, healthcare proxy or living will. Older people and people with disabilities may also need adult guardianships and Medicaid planning.
Estate administration and probate are the court processes which allow people to distribute your money and property. If you have a will that lists who will get your property after your death, there will be a probate of your will after you die. If you do not have a will, it is called dying “intestate.” In that case, your property is given to certain persons under New York’s laws of inheritance. This process is called estate administration.