- Incapacity planning – do not make the common mistake of assuming that incapacity planning is only needed when you reach retirement age. Incapacity can occur at any time as the result of a workplace accident, a serious illness, or a personal injury accident. Should you suddenly become incapacitated, who will control your assets? Who will make treatment decisions for you? Who will have the authority to make personal decision on your behalf? Absent an incapacity plan the answers to those questions may be decided by a judge.
- Retirement planning – you are never too young to begin planning for your retirement. Because your estate will consist of the assets you have left after your Golden Years it only makes sense to make sure your retirement plans and your estate plans work well together.
- Tax avoidance – with a federal gift and estate tax rate of 40 percent, tax avoidance strategies are among the most popular additions to any estate plan. By taking advantage of estate planning tools such as the annual exclusion during the course of your lifetime you can transfer a considerable amount of your wealth with little, or no, tax exposure prior to your death, thereby decreasing the value of your estate at the time of your death.
- Medicaid planning – your odds of needing long-term care increase considerably as you age. The cost of that care may shock you. In the State of New York, the average cost of a year stay in a long-term care facility will run you over $125,000. Most health insurance plans will not cover long-term care expenses nor will Medicare. For over half of all seniors, Medicaid is the only option; however, qualifying for Medicaid can be problematic if you own much in the way of assets. Medicaid planning aims to protect your assets will still ensuring that you qualify for Medicaid when the time comes.
- Probate avoidance – probate can be a lengthy, and costly, process. As a general rule, the larger and more valuable your estate, the longer it will take to probate the estate. All the while your loved ones are unable to access the assets intended for them. Adding a probate avoidance component should dramatically decrease the time your estate spends in probate.
- Asset protection – imagine spending years working hard and investing wisely in order to grow your estate assets, only to watch them disappear into the hands of creditors or a spendthrift beneficiary. Asset protection strategies can help reduce the possibility of this occurring.
- Special needs planning – if you have a loved one with special needs in your life you undoubtedly want to continue to provide financial support to him/her after you are gone. A direct gift, however, could jeopardize your loved one’s eligibility for much needed assistance programs. A special needs component in your estate plan can address this issue.
- Pet planning – if you have a family pet, including a pet planning component to your estate plan ensures that he/she will continue to be well cared for in your absence.
- LGBT planning – members of the LGBT community face unique challenges when it comes to estate planning that can be addressed by including an LGBT component to your estate plan.
- Business succession planning – as you likely already know, only 20 percent of small businesses successfully make the transition to the next generation. Including a business succession plan in your overall estate plan will dramatically increase the odds that your business is among the 20 percent that make the transition successfully.
If you have additional questions or concerns about your estate plan, contact the experienced New York estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia,. by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment.
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