Our lives are not infinite. They can end unexpectedly in a mere instant. Unless we have certain end-of-life documents properly executed and easily accessible by our family members, our loss may not only result in creating an emotional void in our loved one's lives, but a financial one as well.
A survey conducted by Caring.com in 2016 showed that only 56 percent of Americans questioned had either a living trust or will in place at the time.
If you take care of someone with special needs, then it's important for you to start thinking about how you'd like him or her to be taken care of in the future if something were to happen to you. It's particularly important that if he or she either plans to or is already receiving government benefits, that a special needs trust (SNT) be set up to ensure that can happen.
When it comes to revocable trusts, many look to them as a way of not having to pay as much in taxes. They offer quite a bit more in terms of benefits, though.
Are you looking to plan your estate soon? If so, then you may wish to consider including an "in terrorem," or no-contest, clause when drafting either your will or living trust documents.
If you have a disabled family member, then you likely are aware that government subsidies awarded by both the state and federal government aren't intended to allow him or her to live overly comfortably. Instead, they're only intended to ensure that his or her basic needs are covered just over the poverty line.
As is the case with most states, in order for a will to be considered legally enforceable in New York, §§3-1.1 of the estates and trusts state code notes that the individual executing it must be of both "sound mind" and at least 18.
More often than that, a trust is created as a tool for managing an individual's tangible assets, such as finances or real estate, for someone else's benefit on down the road. In many cases, an individual may create the trust so that his or her assets will be more easily transferred to that person's beneficiaries upon his or her death.
We'd probably all like to control our own destinies, yet few of us will ever get the chance to choose what happens to us if we find ourselves incapacitated in the hospital, unable to voice our own wishes. If you appoint a health care proxy, though, you just might. You can have this individual make some of the harder decisions about your health if you even become unable to make them yourself.
In New York, under the state's Health Care Proxy Law, you can appoint to have someone else make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. There are generally two situations in which that individual may be called upon to make decisions about your medical care.