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Encouraging A Loved One To Start Thinking About Estate Planning

encouraging a loved one to start thinking about estate planningThe process for encouraging a loved one to discuss estate planning and the distribution of assets both during and after that loved one has passed can be a difficult, and sometimes, awkward situation. However, using the appropriate tact and encouragement, this goal can be met, and can help that loved one and their immediate relatives.

If one does not undertake the process of estate planning and that person dies without a will, the distribution of the assets will be determined by New York state law and the courts. Basically, the distribution will pass to your living next-of-kin, and may or may not be consistent with your wishes. Often, people want to bequeath assets to charities or close family friends. Without proper estate planning, this goal can not be realized.

Furthermore, there are two other significant benefits to estate planning. One would involve the creation of a living revocable trust to pass property from an individual to an entity called a “trust”. The benefits of a trust can be twofold. It can protect an individual from creditors in certain instances and can also keep the property in the name of the family without resorting to probate or administration. If a person dies and does not place property in the name of a trust or own the property jointly, that property (personal or real property) has to be probated through the Surrogate’s Court, which can be time consuming and affect the continuity of the ownership of said property.

Another important reason for prudent estate planning is to avoid estate taxes placed on your taxable estate. Currently, the threshold for federal estate tax withholding is $5.25 million and $1 million in New York State. Proper planning with an estate lawyer can limit the exposure you might face if your taxable estate is above these monetary thresholds.

If you wish to discuss varied methods of estate planning, it is very important that you contact an experienced Long Island estate attorney at the Law Offices at Michael W. Alpert via phone at (631) 225-4603 or e-mail at