Wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents.

for couples, people with children, and anyone with substantial assets.

wills trusts estate planning family

New York has pre-established rules for what happens when you pass away or lose the ability to make decisions for yourself due to illness or injury.  Whether we’re considering the distribution of everything you own, payment of certain outstanding expenses and taxes, health care decisions or most importantly the care of your minor children, New York has statutes designating a default method of addressing these issues.  

However, this is not set in stone.

Through the use of certain legal documents, described briefly below, we have the ability to take control of these important decisions and ensure that the products of our life’s work are addressed as we desire.  

Wills are a commonly used legal document to help direct assets upon one's passing.  Most people work hard throughout their lives with the intention of creating a legacy.  We also tend to want to simplify things for those we love.  Help your legacy survive and ease the burden on your loved ones by memorializing your wishes in a will.  Why allow inaction to empower the government to determine who raises your children or takes possession of your life's work?

Trusts are formed with various intentions in mind.  They enable families to pass assets directly to beneficiaries, bypassing the probate process.  They can help parents ensure that minor children have inherited assets protected.  They can also assist parents in helping adult children make responsible financial decisions by limiting access to trust assets until reaching a certain age.  They may be created to distribute charitable donations.  Additionally, they are often used to preserve certain tax benefits.

Powers of Attorney are legal documents that give someone you designate the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.  They are often created to spring into effect should you become incapable of making those decisions yourself.

Living Wills are created to state in advance the end-of-life decisions you would like to make should you become unable to communicate those decisions.  They help ensure your personal wishes are followed, while sparing those you love with extraordinarily difficult and painful decisions themselves.

Health Care Proxies give someone you appoint the authority to make health care decisions for you in the event you lose the ability to do so yourself.  This could happen in a temporary capacity, such as something unexpected occurring during surgery, or permanently, such as instances of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.