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Estate Planning

Estate planning is the best protection you can provide to your heirs. If you make a mistake, however, your estate planning documents may not survive probate. To make sure you have a solid estate plan in place that addresses your wishes and secures your heirs' rights, contact Lalor Law Firm today online or at (845) 616-3509. Our estate planning attorney will thoroughly review your wishes, discuss setting up or updating a Will, and provide additional information on how to better improve your overall estate plan. 

Last Will & Testament:  The Last Will & Testament is a legal declaration of your wishes regarding the disposal of your property or estate.. A Will can have directions for how property should be divided and names an Executor to carry out those wishes. Wills can also appoint a guardian for children. To execute a Will, you must follow proper procedures as outlined by the laws of New York. Mistakes can lead to an invalid Will or Will challenges. You do not want either of those outcomes because it means your wishes will not be fulfilled upon your death, your heirs may not receive what you intended them to receive, and/or your heirs may suffer a lot of headaches to fight for what is rightfully theirs. 

Living Trust: Is a legal document created during an individual's lifetime where a designated person, the trustee, is given responsibility for managing that individual's assets for the benefit of the eventual beneficiary. A living trust is designed to allow for the easy transfer of the trust creator or settlor's assets while bypassing the often complex and expensive legal process of probate.  

Irrevocable “Income Only” Trusts or Medicaid Trusts: A legal document used to help those who are getting older shield some of their assets and permit them to meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid long-term care in New York.

Healthcare Proxy:  A Health Care Proxy is a document that names someone you trust as your proxy, or agent, to express your wishes and make health care decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.

Living Will: A living will, sometimes called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets you state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decision.  

Power of Attorney: The Power of Attorney is a legal document giving one person (the agent) the power to act for another person (the principal).  The Power of Attorney, for example, allows one spouse to sell property when the other spouse is unable to participate in the transaction.

Guardianship Over an Incapacitated Adult:  Adults who were previously able to make their own choices can suddenly become incapacitated following a serious illness. In these situations, an Article 81 guardianship can be filed in New York Supreme Court. Guardianships of this type are specific about what decisions the guardian can make. If a person is only able to make financial decisions, the arrangement is sometimes referred to as a conservatorship. Various challenges and complications can arise with Article 81 guardianship, which is why many people avoid it. Instead, utilizing a financial or healthcare power of attorney is sometimes a better option.  

Guardianship of a Minor: Minors sometimes require guardians if a person dies, leaves the area, or becomes too sick or incapacitated to adequately care for the child. In these situations, Article 17 guardianship is filed in Surrogate's Court. Other times, a parent might appoint a guardian over the minor child in the parent's will. For example, a guardian might be appointed to manage an inheritance that a child receives. Appointing a guardian of a minor is a big decision and requires that the person who is named to this position have the time and ability to look over a child.

Guardian of a Developmentally or Intellectually Disabled Adult: New York law views a person who reaches the age of 18 as capable of making their own choices. In situations where a person has either developmental or intellectual disabilities, an Article 17-A guardianship petition can be filed in Surrogate's Court over the person, the person's assets, or both the person and the person's assets. To obtain this type of guardianship, certification must be received from two medical professionals. The scope of this guardianship is broad and intended to encompass most of the decisions that an individual would make for a minor child. As a result, guardianship of this type often addresses both financial and healthcare decisions.

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Lalor Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about Real Estate, Wills and Trusts, Business Formation, Employment Law, Civil Litigation, and Business Law issues in New York's Hudson Valley.

We offer a Free Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.