Estate Planning: It’s Never Too Early to Start

Most people are too busy to think about estate planning. Statistics show that 120 million Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans.

Basic estate planning includes the preparation of a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy/Living Will.

Life changes such as marriage, the birth of a child, illness or the loss of a loved one often trigger the question, “When should I start planning for my estate?”.

There’s no magic answer to this question. Bottom line is that it’s never too early to start. Being prepared leaves an organized process for your loved ones and provides the opportunity to pass the maximum amount of wealth to your heirs. But where do you begin?

Creating an Effective Estate Plan

Estate planning is complicated and usually requires the services of an Estate Planning professional. The process addresses the distribution of your assets, who has the ability to act for you legally and financially, and who will care for your children. There may also be tax implications, which is why it’s important to work with an expert you trust who specializes in estate planning.

Before meeting with an expert, here are some questions to think about:

Selection of a guardian

Who do you want to be responsible for your children or yourself, when you get sick or pass away?

Assets and Liabilities

What assets and liabilities do you want to protect in case of illness, or distribute when you pass?

Naming of beneficiaries

Who should receive your assets? A spouse, children, friends or charity – or perhaps a combination of all of the above?

Selection of an Estate Administrator

Who do you want to administer your estate and carry out your wishes?

Creation of a Living Trust

A Living Trust enables you to prepare for an illness, protect assets and quickly distribute those assets upon your death.

Regardless of your age, the goal of estate planning is to ensure your assets are managed responsibly and that you pass the maximum amount of wealth possible to your loved ones.  After the plan is finalized, it’s important to review it regularly to address changes in your life and in the tax laws applicable to estates.

Do you need help with estate planning? Most people do. Our law firm is here to help you! We handle all the complex aspects of estate planning, making the process simple for you and your family. Our comprehensive approach ensures that no important details are overlooked.

For more information, call me today at (914) 437-5955.

About Author

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  • Michael LaMagna, LNHA, MPA, JD concentrates in the areas of Medicaid and Advanced Asset Protection Planning, Elder Law, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Probate Litigation, Guardianships, Health Care Regulatory Matters, Nursing Home Placement, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Appeals, Social Security/SSI Litigation and Special Needs Law. If you have a question for Mr. LaMagna, please call him at (914) 437-5955.