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We so often hear that hard work is the path to achieving the American dream. But retaining as much of our earnings as possible for our families can be a challenge. An estate planning attorney can work with you to assure that your hard work results in the accumulation of assets that are protected from liabilities. Asset protection planning can help you to ensure that gift and estate tax liabilities are minimized for your family after you have gone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Q: What is a will?

A: A will is a written legal document with instructions for distributing an individual's assets after his or her death. A will must be formally executed as required by state law to be legally valid and enforceable.

The terms of a will must be carefully prepared to include for many possible contingencies. In addition, there are many income and estate gift tax issues which need to be carefully reviewed by gathering all of the fact of an individual, couple or family so that each will is prepared for the particular personal facts that differ from client to client.

Q: What is a trust?

A: A trust is a legal entity created to hold assets for the benefit of another person or entity. There are many types of trusts that can be used to achieve a person's or entity's estate planning objectives.

By carefully reviewing the facts regarding each client and their family, we present options as to which trust or trusts are available for the client or clients to use to protect all the family members and to make certain all of the tax and non-tax reasons for a trust are made available to each client to enable them to decide what is best for them.

Our Experience In Litigation Of Estates And Businesses Helps In Drafting To Avoid Litigation For Our Clients And Their Families

If you want your property and business interests to be turned over in a certain manner to certain individuals, do not leave it to chance. You need the help of estate planning lawyers who are also accomplished, successful estate litigation lawyers. Why? So that they can make sure all documents are drafted with little room for disagreement or potential pitfalls leading to litigation. The estate planning, administration, and probate litigation attorneys at Bashian & Farber have the skills to make sure your estate planning fulfills your intentions.

If you are ready to begin the estate planning process, contact the estate planning and litigation lawyers at Bashian & Farber. Set up a free consultation and explore what the Bashian & Farber law firm can do to make sure your estate is properly distributed.

Estate Planning — An Overview

Estate planning allows an individual to plan for his or her lifetime objectives and to provide direction about the disposition of his or her assets after death. Estate planning can include wills and trusts as well as powers of attorney and health care directives. Estate planning is impacted by state and federal law, and any individual may find that more elaborate or creative legal means are necessary for his or her situation. Some of these more complex techniques include trusts, family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs).

An estate planning lawyer from Bashian & Farber, LLP, in White Plains, New York, can be an essential ally in assuring that your estate planning goals are understood and carried out. If you have estate planning-related legal questions, call Bashian & Farber, LLP, today to schedule a consultation.

Estate Planning Basic Documents

Because estate planning allows an individual to ensure that his or her property will go to the people he or she wants, in the way he or she wants and when he or she wants, it is important for everyone, even if an estate is likely to be small, to have an estate plan. An estate plan can help to reduce tax liabilities, court costs and attorneys fees, and it can also make it easier for families to cope with the administrative and financial issues that arise after the loss of family members.

Estate plans should typically include at least two important estate planning instruments: a durable power of attorney and a will. A durable power of attorney is a document that authorizes a person to make decisions for a person who has become incapacitated, including decisions about the incapacitated person's property. A will is a document that sets out the plan to distribute a person's property after her or his death.

Documents relating to medical care can also be part of an estate plan. Documents to consider include: a medical directive (also called an advance directive, a physician's directive, a written directive or a durable power of attorney for health care) to designate a person to make health care decisions for a person who has become incapacitated; a health care proxy (also called a proxy directive) to designate a person to make health care decisions regardless of a person's incapacity; and a living will to express a person's desire regarding the use of extraordinary measures to extend her or his life when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery.

Estate Planning And Financial Goals

Estate planning can help to identify and plan for financial needs during life and after death. Financial needs to consider include retirement income, college funding, replacement income following an unforeseen illness or disability, and the needs of surviving family members. To meet these financial goals and to ensure appropriate utilization of assets during life and orderly and efficient distribution of assets after death, an estate plan may include making gifts to individuals and charities during life, purchasing life insurance, using revocable and irrevocable trusts, purchasing annuities, and rearranging personal and business interests. In addition to federal gift and estate taxes, state inheritance taxes, which vary from state to state, must also be considered to meet financial objectives.

Contact An Estate Planning Lawyer

Asset protection strategies, health care directives, powers of attorney and other estate planning devices are an integral part of the services that an estate planning attorney can provide. If you have questions about estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney at Bashian & Farber, LLP, in White Plains, New York, to schedule a consultation.

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