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Estate & Trust Planning Archives

Almost half of Americans 55 and older do not have wills

Unfortunately, no one lives forever. As New Yorkers age, it is important to make plans for the end of their life. These plans should include retirement and estate planning. In spite of this, CNBC reports that 45 percent of Americans 55 years and older do not have a will.

What instructions to include on your living will

Estate planning requires you to begin preparations for moments in your life you hope will not happen. While picturing yourself in a mentally incapacitated or near-death state is not pleasant, you need to keep in mind that it is still a possibility in the future. In New York, if you do not have a living will or durable power of attorney, then the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHDCA) will allow your family members or other close ones to make medical decisions for you.

This is the biggest threat to your family's inheritance

You all love each other as a family. Despite your differences and your drama, love is at the center of your relationship, and a common connection with an elder family member like a grandparent or aunt could be the reason for the strong bonds. However, loss tests these relationships and their money, property and assets could be up for grabs in probate.

New York legislature rejects cuts to spousal refusal

The legislature rejects Governor Cuomo's proposal to cut spousal protections, including spousal refusal, in the 2018-19 state budget. The initial New York state budget suggested the removal of spousal refusal, which allows a spouse to refuse payment for long-term care expenses for another spouse.

Making changes to your estate plan after divorce

There are a variety of family law matters that couples encounter when they work through the end of their marriage. For those with children, stress may arise over child support or custody, while those with a high net worth may have an especially complicated divorce due to property division and other financial considerations. However, there are other ways in which filing for divorce can affect one's life as well. For example, those who have an estate plan may find that it is necessary to make changes as a result of their divorce.

Thinking of a guardianship? Avoid financial exploitation

As an adult child of a parent entering their twilight years, you might be struggling to balance your parent's stridently independent personality with their need for care. Even starting a discussion about nursing homes, in-home care or guardianships can be difficult. What if you finally settle upon a guardianship, only to find it does not meet your loved one's needs? 

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