6 Simple Estate Planning Tips

Long Island Estate Planning Attorney - Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. Estate planning is for everyone and is equally as important for single people as it is for married couples. Everyone needs to have a will and to take the necessary steps to provide for their loved ones and to have their property disposed of after they die.

Estate planning can permit you to determine how your estate is to be managed after you die or when you become unable to manage it yourself. It can also permit you to take steps to avoid probate and minimize estate taxes. Here is a list of six simple estate planning tips that you can employ whether you are young, old, married, single, or with or without children.

  • Create a Basic Will – Amongst other things, a basic Will enables you to:
  1. Express how you would like your property to be disposed of after you die
  2. Name an executor for your estate
  3. Choose a legal guardian for your children
  4. Appoint someone to manage any money your children inherit
  • Create a Revocable Living Trust – A revocable living trust differs from a Will in that it covers how your estate is to be dealt with in the following three scenarios:
  1. When you’re alive and healthy
  2. When you are incapacitated
  3. When you die

A revocable living trust will contain provisions to allow you to manage your own estate while you are alive and well, but will name a disability trustee who will manage your estate in the event you become mentally incapacitated. It will also outline how this trustee should dispose of your estate if you die, and will name those who should receive the balance of your estate after all of your bills have been settled.

  • Draw Up a Power of Attorney – A power of attorney can be drawn up to authorize someone to handle your affairs when you are unable to.  You can draw up multiple powers of attorneys for different purposes. For example, a power of attorney to be given to someone who will manage your finances and another to be given to someone who will make medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Create a Living Will – A living Will, also known as a health care declaration, allows you to express in advance what decisions should be made should you need life-prolonging medical treatment and can’t make those decisions yourself.
  • Update Your Beneficiary Designations – Whoever is named as a beneficiary in financial documents, such as your life insurance policy, bank account, and investment portfolio, will inherit these assets when you die, regardless of what your will or trust says. So, to make sure that these assets are inherited by the right individual(s), you should make it a point to review and update your beneficiary designations on a regular basis, especially after major life events such as the birth of a child, a marriage or a divorce.
  • Consult with an Attorney – Unless you make arrangements ahead of time, when you die or become unable to manage your own affairs, the state may appoint a guardian to manage your affairs for you. So it is important to consult with a state planning attorney to help you take the necessary steps to have your estate managed or disposed of by someone who is aware of your needs and desires, and who has the best interest of your loved ones in mind.

Navigate the Complexities of Estate Planning – Speak to an Attorney

Estate planning can be a complex process that often requires the assistance of an attorney. Contact attorney Andrew M. Lamkin today regarding your estate plan or for assisting with estate administration. Call 516-605-0625 for a free consultation or contact us online with your questions.

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