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Having a Will means having a say in the distribution of your estate.

Many people wrongly believe a Will is only for the rich or those who want to set up trusts or save taxes. Trust and tax savings are benefits, but Wills are necessary for everyone. The primary reason for making a Will is to leave your property to those you care about and in the proportions you choose.

Three out of four Americans die without leaving a Will. The reason is apparent: no one enjoys thinking about their death. Moreover, if you die without a Will, you give up control over how your assets are distributed.

If you want to have a say over what happens to your family, home, and financial assets after death, you need a Will.

estate planning and administration

Estate Planning and Administration

Deutsch & Schneider LLP has drafted thousands of Wills for clients over the past 40-plus years.

Drafting a Legal and Enforceable Will Requires Knowledge of the Law and Experience in Drafting and Executing Wills

A Will, which Deutsch & Schneider LLP can draw up after one meeting, can prevent New York State from enforcing decisions about your estate that you would never have made.

You need to inventory your assets and decide how you want them distributed.

One of the most critical decisions you can make about your estate is the selection of an executor. As the overseer of your estate, they will inventory all your assets, collect money owed to you, pay debts, notify insurance companies and collect the proceeds, arrange for your family’s living expenses, file all tax returns, and distribute your estate.

Besides ensuring that your estate is distributed according to your wishes, a Will can also reduce the financial, tax, and emotional burden on your heirs.

Careful planning with Deutsch & Schneider LLP will enable you to create a Will that provides for the well-being of your family and ensures your peace of mind.

If you have minor children at your death, a court‑appointed guardian must manage your child’s share. Although the court probably would appoint your spouse as guardian, a bond may have to be posted. Payment of the bond premiums will cost money. Prior court approval is necessary if any money must be used to pay for your child’s education, clothing, or living costs. The court also requires annual accountings of income and expenses. 

In addition, investment of the guardian’s funds may also be limited. If the guardianship lasts for any length of time, the child’s funds may not grow at an acceptable pace. A properly drafted Will could easily avoid all these problems and related expenses.

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A Properly Drafted Will Expresses Your Desires Regarding How Your Children Will be Cared For

To account for the unlikely case where you and your spouse die at, or close to the same time, you must make provision not only for a guardian of the property of any child under age 18 but also, perhaps more importantly, should name a guardian of the child’s person. A guardian of the person grants custody of the child while the child is still a minor. 

How do you go about making a Will? Can you pick up some printed forms and make them out in your own handwriting? You could do that, but you might not have a legal will, and you may not have the best Will for your situation.

Most people who want to write their own Will, buy a book that tells them how to write one. However, this might cause you to miss an essential requirement or have less than the best plan.

Deutsch & Schneider LLP will work with you to Create the Best Will for your Circumstances

Making the best plan and the best Will takes knowledge and experienced advice. For example, do you know that Will may not distribute property held jointly with another? Or that life insurance may or may not be distributed by Will depending on who is named as beneficiary? Or that the same can be said of individual retirement accounts, pension plans, and other assets? Or that a spouse has a right to a car, some other items, and to a large share of the property no matter what your Will may say? The best plan recognizes that the best Will is only part of the total plan to distribute your property. 

If you plan properly and have your plan reviewed periodically, you may also lower or eliminate your tax burden and leave more to your beneficiaries.

Before you make a Will, you should also know how estate taxes affect you. The federal and New York estate taxes frequently change due to various tax reform acts. So, you may not be up‑to‑date with these complex and always-changing laws. Also, you may be unaware that you can choose which of your beneficiaries pays the estate taxes. If you plan properly with Deutsch & Schneider LLP, you may be able to plan your estate in ways that can lower or eliminate your tax burden and leave more to your beneficiaries.

To have the best plan for yourself and your beneficiaries, call or E-Mail Deutsch & Schneider to make an appointment to discuss your Will.

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