A comprehensive and well-crafted estate plan gives you peace of mind, control over your assets and helps to protect your current and future needs. Our estate lawyers will help you achieve this.
We understand that each person’s situation is unique. At the Meier Law Firm, we are focused on truly listening and understanding the particular needs and goals of our clients. Our real estate lawyers will make it our priority to tailor a plan best suited for you and to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Administering an estate, whether through Probate Court or not, can be a complicated process; a process which is made more difficult because of the emotions involved in losing a loved-one.
Let the team at Meier Law Firm assist you with the estate or trust administration of a loved one. We are experienced and compassionate. No matter how complex an estate or trust may be, we will guide you calmly and confidently through the estate administration process.
• A will is a legal document which allows you to choose how your assets are distributed upon your death and who will be responsible for administering your estate. Other important provisions of your will may include appointing a guardian and or setting up a trust for minor children, minimizing estate tax upon death, caring for a disabled spouse or child and protecting your assets from creditors. If you don’t have a will, the laws of New York State will determine how your estate is distributed which may not be what you desired or in the best interest of your beneficiaries.
• A power of attorney form is used to give another person or persons (the agent) the authority to act on your behalf for financial matters when you are unable to do so. The power of attorney does not give your agent the ability to make health care decisions for you.
• Regardless of age or current health, every adult should consider executing a power of attorney. By doing so, you can rest assured that your financial matters will managed in the event of an unexpected and/or prolonged illness or prolonged absence from the area.
• A health care proxy is a person designated by you to make health decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to make these decisions for yourself. Appointing a proxy gives you the power to choose the person you believe is most likely to carry out your wishes for treatment, particularly in situations where life-sustaining measures may be discussed. If you do not appoint a proxy, New York State Statute sets forth who can speak on your behalf. This person may not be the best choice for you.
• A living will informs healthcare providers as well as your health care proxy of your wishes concerning treatment in the event you are unable to speak for yourself.
• This document enables you to designate a person who will be in charge of making funeral arrangements for you. You can also set forth specific instructions such as where and how you want to be buried and whether you want to be cremated.
• A probate proceeding may be necessary to transfer assets owned by you at the time of your death. An executor or administrator will be appointed by the surrogate and will be responsible for gathering your assets, paying the bills, and distributing your assets either to your named beneficiaries or to those people entitled to inherit from your estate if you die intestate (without a will).
• Assets that are jointly owned or have a beneficiary named on them generally can be transferred without the need for probate. Additionally, assets that are owned by a trust which contains provisions for the distribution of assets upon your death may avoid oversight by the Surrogate’s Court. However, in the case of distribution from a trust it is important that the trustee properly administers the trust and distributes the assets properly because he or she is accountable to the beneficiaries.
• Medicaid is a health insurance program funded by the federal and state government and is designed to provide financial assistance to people with low income and minimal resources (assets).
• The eligibility requirements for Medicaid are complex. It’s important to seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in Medicaid planning and application prior to transferring assets, spending-down your assets and submitting an application.
• Let our firm assist you with Medicaid planning and application.