Protecting Loved Ones And Preserving Your Wishes Through Estate Planning
Most days, end-of-life care or what will happen to your family after you’re gone are not thoughts that are at top of your mind. It’s easy to put estate planning on a back burner. But time flies by and we don’t know what may come tomorrow. By building a plan now, you can spare yourself and those you love from unnecessary difficulties at a time when coming together as a family will be most important.
Corliss Law Group, P.C., in Westchester helps clients carefully consider each component of their estate plans to cover all the bases. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys can walk you through various options to help you feel confident that there is a game plan for you and your loved ones, whatever the future may bring.
Does your old estate plan need some TLC?
If you wrote a will and powers of attorney years ago (or in another state), it could be dangerously out-of-date. We routinely review and refurbish wills, trusts and estate plans to make sure they still protect you and reflect your current realities.
The Must-Have Basics Of An Estate Plan
Your estate plan is unique to you. It can be as complex or simple as you desire. That said, there are two legal documents that you should have if nothing else:
- Power of attorney: This powerful document designates someone you trust to act as your legal agent if you become disabled or incapacitated. The attorney-in-fact could have the authority to pay bills, manage investments and conduct legal transactions on your behalf. Powers of attorney can be as broad or as limited as you wish.
- Last will and testament: Upon death, your will distributes those assets of your estate that are not already assigned to specific beneficiaries (such as life insurance proceeds or assets held in a trust). It may direct that certain assets “pour over” into a trust upon death. A will can also dictate your wishes regarding funeral arrangements and guardians for minor children. It can even take care of your pets.
The Full Estate Planning Menu
Estate planning can be about more than what happens to your things after you pass on. We help clients take full advantage of the options to prepare for both the foreseeable future and unforeseen events:
- Trusts and advanced strategies – The most basic trust holds assets and property apart from your estate for the benefit of one or more named beneficiaries. One of the main advantages of trusts is that they can avoid probate by distributing those assets directly to beneficiaries. Other trusts can protect assets from creditors and lawsuits, endow a favorite charity after you pass, defer estate taxes or put stipulations on inheritance. We can match various trusts to your goals.
- Retirement planning – Our lawyers can help you account for the accumulation of your wealth in retirement accounts and investments and its orderly distribution during the years when you should be enjoying life worry-free.
- Medical directives – These are your health care proxy and living will, which express how your medical care will be carried out if you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. You decide which types of procedures you would consent to and under what conditions, and designate someone you trust to make health care decisions on your behalf.
- Medicaid planning – Medicaid law is a big part of our practice. We help people apply for Medicaid benefits and qualify for nursing home subsidies without depleting family wealth.
- Special needs planning – When you have a loved one who is mentally or physically disabled, a special needs trust allows you to set aside funds for basic care and quality of life without interfering with their government benefits.
We Know The Strategies And The Pitfalls
Founding attorney Marie Corliss has practiced estate planning and elder law for over 30 years. All of our attorneys and support staff have focused knowledge and a genuine love for problem-solving and helping people achieve peace of mind by putting their wishes in writing.
At Corliss Law Group, P.C., we open our client’s eyes to contingencies they may not have anticipated. After we deliver your customized documents, we are still looking out for you. As a bonus to clients, we provide a digital spreadsheet of all your assets and we follow up to make sure newly created trusts are actually funded and other critical details are attended to.
Trusted Advisers In Westchester And Surrounding Communities
We have two convenient offices in Westchester County and serve many clients in Putnam County, Dutchess County and Manhattan. To schedule a “meet and greet” initial consultation to start the estate planning process, call us at 914-712-6404 or use our email contact form.