Protect Your Family & Your Assets
Planning for the unexpected brings you the relief of knowing your affairs are in order, your wishes will be followed, and your family will be taken care of no matter what.
Protect your family and avoid death taxes with a Will.
We make it easy to get your Will done by providing a free consultation, flat fee pricing, and a supportive environment to discuss difficult topics surrounding aging, death and money. My clients take advantage of my complimentary family meetings.
The Future is Unknown. Your Estate Plan Shouldn’t Be.
We worry about the future because it is uncertain. The best way to face that fear is to gather information and learn exactly what will happen in different scenarios so that you can anticipate change.
We help you put together an affordable Will that covers every contingency so that your family is always protected.
What is a Last Will & Testament?
A Last Will & Testament is a legal document that sets forth how and to whom your property will be distributed upon death. A properly drafted Will can also avoid estate tax, address blended family issues, provide for minor children, create creditor protection trusts for beneficiaries, and make probate easier by dispensing with the need for a bond.
Our consultations are always thorough
and always free
Book online, schedule through email
or call our office at (212) 739-1736
Why You Need a Will
Avoid the Default Inheritance Law
If you die without a will then your assets are distributed according to New York’s Estate, Powers and Trust Law (EPTL) 4-1.1. Every state treats intestate succession differently. In New York, this means that if you are married and have children, your spouse receives the first $50,000 and then half of your remaining assets. The other half is split evenly between your children - whether they are minors or grown. This is not what most people intend - they want to provide for the spouse first and then, if there are remaining assets, to the children. Avoid intestate succession!
You Have Minor Children
If you have minor children, then the Court gets involved in how their inheritance is spent. Moreover, your minor child could inherit automatically upon reaching 21 years of age. This may be too young to inherit hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a worst case scenario and both parents die, the Court decides who will raise your children.
Not having a will creates even more pronounced problems if you operate a business, own income producing property, have a blended family, complicated family tree, or are subject to estate tax. All these issues and family strife disappear if you create a simple will or trust to ensure your assets go where you want them to go at your death.
Avoid Estate Taxes
Marital Trust – A Marital trust allows spouses to leave assets to each other without tax consequences by utilizing the unlimited marital deduction. The assets pass through the surviving spouse’s estate, getting a step up in basis but subject to estate taxes.
QTIP Trust – A QTIP trust is a type of marital trust that is usually used when there is a blended family. The spouse must be the only beneficiary of the trust during his or her lifetime and be entitled to all income generated from the trust, but the testator controls who inherits on the surviving spouse’s death.
Credit Shelter Trust – A credit shelter trust, also called a family trust, is funded with the decedent spouse’s assets up to the current estate tax exemption to capture the first to die’s estate tax exemption. It does not qualify for the marital deduction and anyone can be a beneficiary of income and principal, not just the spouse. This credit shelter trust is designed to capture the state estate tax exemption because the federal estate tax exemption can be captured by electing portability on the estate tax return.
Descendant’s or Beneficiary Trusts - Beneficiary Trusts are created upon the testator’s death and protection the beneficiary from creditor’s and divorce. The simplest method is for the beneficiary to be trustee entitled to all income generated from the trust and limit distributions of principal for health, education, maintenance or support (HEMs language in IRS jargon). Even stronger protection can be provided to the beneficiary by naming an independent trustee to make discretionary distributions.
Why You Need a Wills Attorney
There are no small mistakes in estate planning.
For example, consider non-probate assets. Any assets held jointly with another person or which name beneficiaries do not pass through probate. This means they are not affected by a Will or the intestate succession statute. Retirement accounts and life insurance policies with valid designated beneficiaries pass automatically at death.
A good estate planning attorney coordinates non-probate assets in order to construct a comprehensive, clear picture of the estate. Some types of assets may be better suited for certain beneficiaries because of disabilities, personality, needs, and tax consequences. Additionally, failing to consider all the ways in which family and friends inherit could mean unintended consequences, unfairness and expensive court battles.
We Make the Process Simple
Free 1 Hour Consultation - online or in person
Client Portals for Easy Communication
Draft Review Meetings
Signing Date that fits your Schedule
I am passionate about meeting individuals and families to discuss the future.
My work is about putting together a structure so that people can age with independence and grace, while protecting assets and leaving a legacy.
221 Columbia Street
Ph. (212) 739-1736 Fax (212) 202-5263
*Please note that our office does not provide notary service to the public. If you drop in for notary, the attorney will accommodate you if possible. However, we do not under any circumstances take appointments or calls regarding notary services. Thank you for understanding.
221 Columbia Street
Brooklyn, New York 11231
Ph. (212) 739-1736 Fax (212) 202-5263
© Jessica Wilson Law | Disclaimer & Disclosure