Creating Estate Plans For Real Life
No two people have the same assets, the same family members or the same concerns for the future. As a result, the estate plan that works for one person may not work for another.
My name is Lorraine Coyle, an estate planning lawyer in the Bronx. Over the past 36 years, I helped thousands of families throughout the New York City area create estate plans that meet the needs of their families. This page explains some of the real-life issues you may need to address in your estate plan.
Protecting Children From A Prior Marriage
If you remarry, your children may worry about what will happen to their inheritance. In reality, children of blended families have cause for concern. If you die before your new spouse, he or she could disinherit your children. Your spouse could also spend assets you wanted to go to your children.
A proper estate plan can protect your children’s inheritance and give you peace of mind. This estate plan may include a prenuptial agreement.
Protecting A Disabled Family Member
A disabled family member may be eligible for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. If you provide assets directly to your family member, they may become ineligible for those benefits. You can avoid this outcome by providing assets to your family member in a special needs trust.
Protecting Your Assets As You Get Older
Many young married couples name each other as beneficiaries in their wills. This may make sense when you and your spouse are both young. However, it could have unintended consequences for an older couple, especially if the person receiving the inheritance is in a nursing home. The cost of nursing home care could exhaust assets you wanted to go to your children.
Protecting Your Children’s Inheritances
Since estates of less than $4,187,500 are exempt from estate taxes, you may not need to be concerned about minimizing taxes on your children’s inheritance. However, your estate plan can still help protect your children’s inheritances from situations like divorce and bankruptcy. You can also protect your children from themselves by providing assets in a spendthrift trust.
As your attorney, I can help you draft an estate plan to meet the needs of your family.