Estate planning is a legal process where you make an effort to preserve your assets now, and decide how they will be distributed at your death or during your life. When done properly it can help to save you and your estate thousands of dollars, and ensure your final wishes are carried out.
Proper estate planning will allow you to ensure you are able to control what happens to your assets now and after your gone. It is the best way to ensure your specific wishes are followed rather than hoping the courts make the right choices on your behalf. There are many benefits to estate planning including minimizing the taxes that are owed, maintaining privacy for your estate, helping your loved ones avoid probate court, and much more.
A Will, or Last Will and Testament, is the most basic step in estate planning. It will direct what you want to happen to some, or even all, of your assets upon your death. This is also where you would identify who you want to care for any minor children should you die before they are fully grown. For many younger people, a Will is the only estate planning document they need. No matter how complex your estate plan, however, you’ll almost certainly need to have a Will as a part of it.
A trust is an entity that exists through a private agreement between trustee – a person charged with responsibility to holding property for the benefit of another – and settlor – a person who parts with said property for the benefit of another (or sometimes, for the benefit of self) Different assets can be placed into a trust. There are many different types of trusts, each used to serve a different purpose. Choosing the right trust, or trusts, will help to ensure you reach your goals.
Probate is a legal proceeding in surrogate’s court whereby one’s Last Will and Testament is accepted as valid Will of the decedent and letter testamentary is issued to the executor. This is a public process, and can take some time. With proper estate planning, the probate court process can often be completely avoided.
When starting a new business one of the most important things you can do is pick the right business type. You can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a LLC, a S-Corp, or a number of other things. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you choose wisely to avoid problems down the road.
Succession planning is an important process where a business owner identifies who they want to leave their company to when they either die or retire. You may leave control of the business to some people while leaving a financial interest to others. There is a lot of flexibility with respect to business succession planning. Succession plan will be part of an overall process where the successor is groomed to be able to take over the business with as little disruption as possible.
If you still have any questions about estate planning or business law, you will want to sit down with one of our attorneys. We can be reached by dialing 212-596-7039.