Any documents that the client already has must be reviewed. This can include previously drafted wills, health care proxies, power of attorney, living wills, or any other related documents. Your Probate or Estate Lawyer in Forest Hills need to be very meticulous regarding these documents. This is to check if they are legally valid and if there are any changes that need to be made to them.
It is necessary to compile and organize all the assets the client owns. This includes titles of properties, bank accounts, IRA’s and 401(k)’s, jewelry, priceless art, and collections. The value of these assets, how they are titled (sole or joint ownership), and if the investments are designated to a beneficiary, all need to be noted. With this information, a lawyer can determine ways to reduce or eliminate taxes as much as the law allows for.
With the desires of the client in mind, an attorney will assist in assigning people who will have roles in their estate plan. This includes assigning a person to make medical decisions for the client if they are unable to express it themselves, assigning those who will need to make legal decisions, and someone to take care of financial affairs through power of attorney in case the client lacks the capacity to do so. If a trust is used, trustees and an executor need to be designated. Distribution is assigned, potential conflicts prepared for, and the plan is put into place
Preparing an estate plan can be quite nerve-wracking for some elders. Some people delay it because they may see it as the end of their life and it’s something they avoid until it may be too late. It may be easier to think of estate planning as your desired intentions being written and carried out so that your loved ones needn’t go through unnecessary hardship after your death. If you want to make sure your retirement goes smoothly and is carried out efficiently, consult an elder law attorney as soon as you can.