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Queens Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Long term care and estate planning

If you are going over estate planning matters, you may have various questions, such as which type of trust is ideal for you, who you will name as your estate’s executor, or how your assets will be distributed among beneficiaries. However, you may also want to consider the potential way that long term care could affect your estate and take steps to prevent problems from arising down the road. At the New York law firm of Joseph A. Ledwidge, P.C., we know that people sometimes have a lot of uncertainties when it comes to these topics.

When thinking about the future of your estate, you should not overlook the possibility of long term care. In the event that such care is required, you should try to minimize the impact care will have on your estate and avoid significant estate shrinkage. Even if you have a high net worth, long term care can be costly. Although each case is unique, you may want to look into long term care insurance. However, this coverage can be very expensive, so it is essential to carefully go over all of your options before settling on any decisions.

Looking into estate planning as an immigrant

If you have immigrated to the U.S., you may have a diverse range of questions and concerns. At Joseph A. Ledwidge, P.C., we know that some immigrants face hurdles related to estate planning, while others are not sure their rights or how to work through estate matters as someone who is not a U.S. citizen. If you have immigrated to New York from another country for work, to live with family, or for any other purpose, it is essential to know your rights and familiarize yourself with your estate options.

Whether you are a permanent resident or a non-resident alien, you may have questions about estate taxes or wonder what will happen to your property in the event that you pass away. You may also be unsure of what will happen to property that you own in another country or how your property will be distributed to your loved ones. Whether you have invested a significant amount of capital or own real estate, there are many different reasons why you may want to look into estate planning.

Revising your estate plan after a divorce

When it comes to estate matters, a number of unexpected hurdles can create challenges. For example, you may be facing hardships following the loss of your spouse or a person who was granted power of attorney. However, you may need to make revisions to your estate plan after you and your marital partner split up. At Joseph A. Ledwidge, we understand how upsetting these experiences can be for New Yorkers, but it is pivotal for people in this position to address any estate issues that arise after a divorce.

There are various reasons why revising our estate plan following a divorce could be so important. For example, if you granted power of attorney to your former spouse, you may need to revoke this designation. Or, if you and your spouse owned property, or had children, this may necessitate taking another look at your estate plan.

Do you need to challenge the executor of an estate?

There are a lot of things to worry about when someone passes away. Whether it was a predictable passing, such as from a progressive disease, cancer or an accident, there are financial and legal issues that arise after a death. Someone will need to pay off and close accounts, such as utility accounts and credit cards. Then, there's the process of handling the actual estate and distributing assets in compliance with the wishes of the deceased. You may feel like there is less to worry about because the person who passed away left an estate plan or last will. Sadly, that won't prevent serious financial or estate issues.

An estate plan is only as strong as the executor appointed to carry it out. The sad truth is that we are often blind to the worst qualities in the people we are closest to. It's very possible that someone you loved and respected named an unqualified or unscrupulous executor. The person who passed away probably believed that the executor named was the best selection. However, now that it's time to handle the estate, it looks like there are a lot of issues. Whether funds and assets are just disappearing or the executor doesn't seem to know how to handle probate court, you may need to take action.

Granting someone power of attorney

A variety of questions may arise during the estate planning process, such as trying to decide between different types of trusts or being unsure of how to distribute assets among beneficiaries. In Jamaica, and other cities around New York, some people may be trying to decide if granting another person power of attorney is the right move. At Joseph A. Ledwidge, we have firsthand knowledge of the different issues that may arise when it comes to power of attorney.

If you are thinking about granting power of attorney to someone, you should familiarize yourself with the process and have a solid understanding of what their responsibilities may be. Should something happen to you, the person who you have designated to have power of attorney will be able to act on your behalf. Another question you may have to ask yourself is who to grant this power to. Often, people decide to grant power of attorney to a close relative, such as a spouse or a child. However, you may decide to grant power of attorney to someone else.

Heir claims he was cheated out of $70,000

With regard to probate, there are many issues that executors, heirs and decedents may want to take into consideration. For example, heirs should be aware of any wrongdoing during the probate process, which leaves them with a smaller amount of assets than they were entitled to. Unfortunately, this takes place too often in New York and it can be very hard for people who are alerady going through emotional pain.

A man who was listed as an heir in Michigan alleges that he was cheated out of $70,000 after he was unsuccessful in a public auction over a home. He accuses a group of attorneys and a real estate broker of wrongdoing during the probate process, alleging that they sold his mother's home at a public auction without notifying him.

What should I know about estate tax?

If you are preparing to set up your estate plan, there may be many different types of questions you have, such as determining how to divide your assets between beneficiaries. However, you should be aware of other topics that may impact your estate, such as estate tax. In Jamaica, and in other New York cities, you should try to prepare for any potential hurdles that may arise during the estate process, such as how estate tax is calculated.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, estate taxes are placed on the transferral of property from one person to another after they pass away. Various types of property may be subjected to this tax, such as trusts, business interests, cash and real estate. When determining how to tax an estate, assets are evaluated for their fair market value, which may differ from the amount someone spent to purchase an asset.

Talking with loved ones about probate

When it comes to estate matters, a myriad of issues could affect you, whether you are in the early stages of setting up your estate plan or are struggling with your duties as an executor. At Joseph A. Ledwidge, we can sympathize with people who have encountered these challenges in all parts of New York. Unfortunately, they can create a rift between family members, which can be even more devastating after a loved one has passed away. As a result, you should try to work with your loved ones to lock in a positive outcome, regardless of the nature of your complications.

Whether you wish to remove someone who has been named the executor of an estate because you believe they have not lived up to their fiduciary duties or if you are accused of not managing an estate properly, it may be helpful to discuss things with your family. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially in cases where families are pitted against each other over probate topics or any estate matters. While family members who are close to one another (such as a spouse or children) should try to reach an agreement amicably, if possible, these issues can bring in others who may not have been as close to the decedent (such as a niece or cousin).

The probate process can impact an estate's value

The loss of your loved one is a difficult time. One of the things that might make it a bit harder is if you are having to go through the probate process to handle your loved one's estate. Of course, even having to go through the probate process is a lot easier than having to handle things if your loved one died intestate.

If you are facing this prospect right now, you should understand the purpose of probate and some of the specifics related to it so that you can make sure you are on top of things.

Wills and addressing undue influence

On this blog, we have covered many of the reasons why wills may be disputed, from wills that have been lost to insufficient mental capacity. However, undue influence is another reason why wills are disputed. At Joseph A. Ledwidge, our Queens law firm can sympathize with families who are going through a bitter will dispute. Sadly, disagreements over a will can make life even harder for those who are already dealing with strong emotions after their loved one passed away.

If you have been accused of undue influence, you need to carefully examine the relevant details of the situation. Being accused of manipulating a loved one who was vulnerable can be incredibly painful, especially if the accusations are completely false. During this challenging time, you must try to stay level-headed and do everything in your power to have the truth revealed in court. On the other hand, you may suspect that someone exerted undue influence over your loved one, such as coercing them into making certain changes to the will. If you firmly believe that this occurred, you should not hesitate to work towards a possible solution.