Long Island Wills Lawyers Providing Estate Planning Services
Take a minute to think about all of your assets and possessions and what you want to happen to them after you are gone. Do you have a treasured family necklace that you want to ensure stays in the family? Maybe your granddaughter has expressed that she would like to have your antique bedroom suit. Perhaps you have a decent monetary inheritance to leave behind. Do you want to make sure it gets divided between your family members equally, or do you have more specific instructions?
While it’s not always pleasant to think about what will happen to your family and your assets after your death, it’s an important part of ensuring all of your affairs are in order. And the more specific you can be about those instructions, the easier the New York probate process will be for those who are left behind.
If you’re looking for a New York law firm to handle your estate planning and will need it, MontanaroLaw P.C. can help. We have the experience to help you create a custom will that addresses your unique situation and needs correctly. To get started with a free consultation or find out more about our will services, contact us today.
What Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Do?
An estate planning attorney deals with all the aspects of the law that relate to wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate matters. They work with clients to ensure that their estate plans, including last will and testaments and living wills, are comprehensive and are going to reflect their wishes after their death accurately.
An attorney can also help you change existing documents that may need to be updated, and they prioritize the attorney-client relationship to keep open communication and ensure that everything is done correctly and in a timely manner.
Why Do I Need a Will?
Having a will is important to ensure that your estate assets are divided up among your family members as you wish. The last will and testament let you leave clear instructions on how you want your monetary assets, and physical property handled after your death, and it also gives you the chance to name a legal guardian to care for any of your children who have not reached adulthood after you pass.
Without a will in place, the process of executing your estate can take much longer, slowing down how long it takes for your family members to receive their inheritance, and it can open the door to arguments and an ongoing probate process.
What Is the Difference Between a Living Will and a Last Will and Testament?
Living wills and last wills and testaments are both estate planning tools that are essential documents most people should have. A last will and testament is designed to be properly executed after your death and deals with how your assets should be divided.
A living will is a legal document that provides instructions on how you want your healthcare decisions handled if you are incapacitated. It often includes details on things like whether you wish to be labeled as Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or what life-saving measures you are okay with.
What Estate Assets Can Be Included in a Will?
A last will and testament is a legal document in the state of New York and must go through the probate process after your death to be properly executed. As such, there are some rules about what can be included in wills. In general, anything related to monetary or physical assets can be included in a last will and testament. Some things you will want to consider adding to your will include:
- Real estate holdings
- Personal property, such as jewelry and household items
- Liquid assets held in checking or savings accounts
If there are any specific assets that you want to assign, that needs to be explicitly stated in your will and can be communicated to your lawyers. You can also state that an asset or group of assets is to be divided equally among two or more family members. Your will can also specify your wishes for who you want to be the guardian of any minor children.
What Cannot Be Included in a Will?
Your will cannot impose any specific sanctions or make demands on people’s behavior. For example, your will can’t state that your son must continue to live in the family home. But it can state that if your son does not continue to live in the family home, it goes to another beneficiary or should be sold, and the proceeds are divided up.
Talking with a NY will lawyer can help you better determine what should be included in your will and give you good legal advice on how to proceed.
Are There Specific Requirements for Wills in New York?
Wills must be validated by meeting the New York state law requirements to go through the probate process. These requirements include being signed and dated by the person the will pertains to and is signed by two witnesses. The witnesses only have to know that the document is your will and that you created it. You do not need to share the contents of the will with the witnesses to make it valid. State law does not require a will to be notarized.
If you’re not sure about what should be included in a will or how to be certain that your will is legally binding in the state of New York, MontanaroLaw P.C. can help. We know how to go over a draft or an existing will to ensure that everything is done correctly. If there are changes or adjustments that need to be made, we can handle that as well.
What Should I Look for in a Will Attorney?
When you are looking for a New York attorney to help you develop a comprehensive estate plan, it is important to consider your needs.
Knowledge and Experience
You want to look for someone who is able to provide a good attorney-client relationship and has experience in creating and finalizing a will in the state of New York.
It’s a good idea to schedule a free consultation with any attorneys you are considering to get a better understanding of what services they offer, their experience, and what to expect from their legal fees.
The most important thing to look for in a will attorney beyond skills and experience is that you feel comfortable with them. Your wills attorney should take the time to listen to your needs and understand the specifics of your unique situation so that they can address your needs accordingly.
How MontanaroLaw P.C. Can Help
At the law firm of MontanaroLaw P.C., we value each attorney-client relationship and work to provide practical solutions and effective counsel for our clients. We know that drawing up a will and creating an estate plan can be a daunting process and not something that everyone likes to think about.
Our knowledgeable team can help guide you through the process, starting with a free consultation, so you can have the peace of mind that your wishes will be known and are set to be legally executed after your death.
If you have questions about creating a will, your first step is to talk to an attorney who can advise you on the legal requirements and the proper documents. They can then ensure that all of your assets and wishes are properly listed in your will and get it witnessed and finalized.
Putting your wishes into a legally binding will shouldn’t be a difficult and time-consuming process. Let us help you by guiding you through the process, from deciding what needs to be in your will to ensure it’s properly witnessed and following the state requirements. To talk to a member of our law firm or schedule a free consultation, call MontanaroLaw P.C. at (516) 809-7735.