What Happens To My Assets In New Your State, If I Have Not Properly Planned For Distribution Of Those Assets When I Die Or Become Incapacitated?
Intestacy means dying without a Last Will and Testament. Intestacy rules determine who your living relatives are and to whom your estate should pass. New York Estate Powers and Trust Law Article 4, sets out the specific rules if you should die without a will or plan for distribution of your money and property.
If you are incapacitated and do not have a plan in place, someone will be appointed to act on your behalf. That person would have the capacity and the right to use your assets for your care. This person may be a relative, a trusted friend; or, a stranger if you have not made prior plans.
The simplest method to ensure that you have someone of your choosing to manage your affairs is to have a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy and a will. Each of those documents will name that person or those persons you have empowered to make decisions or follow your instructions, upon your disability or death.
Working with an attorney to ensure that you have a plan in place for your care can alleviate stress and arguments within your family. It’s essential for peace of mind and ease of process to ensure that you have a plan established beforehand.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process and help you to understand all of your options.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Types Of Trusts That Are Used In Estate Planning In New York?
Depending on your specific circumstances, some of the types of trusts in use for estate planning purposes are…
- Irrevocable trusts
- Revocable trusts
- Special needs trusts
- Charitable trusts
The most common and highly recommended type of trust to use in estate planning is an Irrevocable Trust.
An irrevocable trust is where you place your assets or a fair portion of your assets into a trust where those assets cannot be touched or reached by creditors or others.
A revocable trust doesn’t protect assets in the same way as an irrevocable trust. It is essentially a will “substitute”. When you pass away, your assets are distributed according to the terms of the trust.
A special needs trust is typically used for a child or an incapacitated individual that needs care and protection.
There are two types of charitable trusts. One is where the person still wants to benefit from the assets while they’re living and then have the proceeds go to a charity upon their death. The other benefits a charity during their lifetime and when they pass away, the remainder goes to their family or other named beneficiary. For more information about Estate Planning Law in New York, an initial consultation is your next best step.