Why Now?

A Full Life is Well Planned.

Look back on your life. Your memories most likely center themselves around certain events which are significant for you. The arc of one’s life is punctuated by such events, large and small, seen and unforeseen. Some decisions you choose and celebrate, and other moments come as a surprise, positive or negative.

Meet Caitlin and her brother George as they navigate some of life’s expected and unexpected events. If you haven’t yet gotten your estate planning in order, please consider how many of these typical life-altering events are helped by thoughtful estate planning:

Twenty-five year-old Caitlin is single, working in the city as a publishing assistant. Her job provides a good salary and benefits. Caitlin takes a ski trip with her brother George and a few friends. While skiing Caitlin tumbles into a sharp rock and requires surgery. Before her operation, the doctors asked her what her preferences are in the unlikely event she became permanently incapacitated. They also asked whether she has nominated anyone to make healthcare decisions if she is unable to communicate them herself. In this moment, Caitlin needs a Living Will and Health Care Proxy.
A few years later, Caitlin meets and marries her co-worker, Josh.  She doesn’t bother creating a will at this time.  She figures that the New York laws of intestacy will automatically pass her estate to Josh if she were to die.  What she hasn’t considered is that without a written will naming him as Executor of her estate, Josh will have to make time-consuming and uncertain petitions to the court.  What’s more, Caitlin didn’t stop to think about the personal items of jewelry and art that she strongly prefers her sister to inherit. In this moment, Caitlin needs a Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Health Care Proxy and a Power of Attorney.

Caitlin has a term life insurance policy provided by her employer. Following her marriage, she forgot to change the named Beneficiary from George to Josh.  She wrongly assumed that everything automatically passes to her husband.  In this moment, Caitlin needs an estate planning consultation. 

George is working as a journalist in the city; he travels frequently for work. George is committed to and lives with his longtime girlfriend.  His work requires him to move to Singapore for six months.  However he has several business matters which require his ongoing involvement in New York.  He would like to authorize his girlfriend to be able to sign certain documents on his behalf while he’s away.  In this moment, George needs a limited Power of Attorney. 

George executed a Health Care Proxy a few years ago and appointed his sister Caitlin as his health care agent. Over the years, George has expressed his health care wishes to his girlfriend in case anything were to happen to him, and comes to believe she would be the best person to advocate on his behalf.  However, he has not updated his Health Care Proxy to reflect his wishes.  In this moment, George needs to update his Health Care Proxy and review his Living Will.

The next decade is a blur of exciting changes.

Caitlin and Josh have adopted two girls. They have discussed who they should designate as a guardian of their children if something were to happen to both of them.  However, they are not sure what other aspects of estate planning they should be thinking about now that they have children.  They have read articles that suggest they should set up a trust for minors.  In this moment, Caitlin and Josh need to meet with their estate planning attorney to review their Health Care Proxies, Living Wills, Power of Attorney and most importantly update their Last Will and Testament.

George and his girlfriend have a two-year-old son. George updates the beneficiary designation on his work related retirement account.  His girlfriend is the primary beneficiary and his son is the secondary beneficiary.  In this moment, George should update his Last Will and Testament to include a trust for his son.  Also, he should discuss with his attorney how to proceed before naming a minor as a beneficiary of a retirement account.

George and his girlfriend have a two-year-old son. George updates the beneficiary designation on his work related retirement account.  His girlfriend is the primary beneficiary and his son is the secondary beneficiary.  In this moment, George should update his Last Will and Testament to include a trust for his son.  Also, he should discuss with his attorney how to proceed before naming a minor as a beneficiary of a retirement account.

Caitlin and Josh’s daughters are no longer minors and attend college nearby. Caitlin and Josh are divorced.  Caitlin meets with her estate planning attorney to review her documents.  She wants to name her oldest daughter as her health care proxy and both of her daughters as agents in her Power of Attorney.  In this moment, Caitlin should update her health care and estate planning documents.  She should express her health care wishes to her daughter.  Also, she should change the beneficiaries of her retirement account and life insurance policy.

Caitlin and George’s parents have passed away. They were involved in the estate administration and also received a sizable inheritance.  In this moment, Caitlin and George should review and update their estate planning documents to include proper tax planning.

George passes away. His estate is in order. His lifelong girlfriend and son know George’s funeral and burial wishes. His estate is probated without a contest and the estate closes.

Did You Know?

of the

General Public

does not have a will

of people

18-29 Years Old

have a will prepared

of people

30-49 Years Old

have a will prepared

Source: Gallup.com

Start Planning Today.

Now is the time to begin planning the future of your estate. Contact us to get started.

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved

nyc web designer