Trusts and Estates
A will is a legal document that declares your final wishes following your passing. Once the testator has passed, the courts will ensure that your will is properly executed and that your final wishes are carried out correctly. This process is known as probated. The proper planning and drafting of a will is one of the most important … you can do for your lived ones, and with the help of Falcon, Jacobson & Gertler, LLP, the estate planning process will be streamlined.
Trusts are legal instruments that allow for a third party, referred to as a trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts permit the transfer of property, money, or assets through a trustee named under a trust vehicle. Unlike wills, trusts are not public record, and do not require court proceedings to enforce, which makes them cost-effective, and private. They likewise cannot be contested in court because they do not pass through probate. Trusts are always used as a supplement to a will. Trusts are also used in order to have maximum control and protection over one’s wealth.
- Irrevocable trust - An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be changed or terminated without the permission of the beneficiaries and the trustees. Once the grantor transfers his/her assets into the trust, all of his/her rights to the assets are revoked.
- Revocable living trust – A revocable living trust allows the provisions of the trust to be changed or terminated by the grantor. For the life of the grantor, all income is still issued to the grantor. Once the grantor passes away, the property within the trust then transfers to the beneficiaries.
- Irrevocable life insurance trusts – An irrevocable life insurance trust holds your life insurance policy, removing it from your estate. You can closely control when and how the beneficiaries will receive their benefits.
- Charitable remainder trusts – A charitable remainder trust is an irrevocable trust that is usually funded by highly appreciated long-term property. A charitable remainder trust can give a fixed amount or a percentage of the value of the trust to the beneficiary each year, with the remainder of the donated assets eventually going to one or more charitable organizations.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a written authorization that allows one to act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, and other legal matters.
- Durable Power of Attorney – Normally, a power of attorney ceases once the grantor passes away or becomes disabled. However, a durable power of attorney occurs when the grantor indicates that the power of attorney will continue to be applicable even after the grantor becomes incapacitated.
- Springing Power of Attorney – A springing power of attorney is a power that only takes effect once the grantor becomes incapacitated, or some other condition occurs. Once the condition or incapacitation occurs, the power is similar to that of a durable power of attorney.
A health care proxy is a document that allows a patient to appoint an agent on their behalf to legally make healthcare decisions when the patient becomes incapable of making decisions for him/herself.
The representative of the estate is responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased. This includes dealing with various legal and financial matters and navigating the New York State’s Surrogates Court system. As experienced estate administration attorneys, we can guide you through the process start to finish. With our in house tax counsel we can advise as to state and federal estate taxes.
The estate administration is lead by an executor (named in a will) or an administrator (in the case of intestacy). Hiring Falcon, Jacobson & Gertler, LLP to assist you as your estate administration attorneys or probate attorneys we will ensure that your estate is rightfully taken care of.
Estate Planning is a process by which an individual organizes the transfer of assets and handling of their affairs in the event of their incapacitation or death. There are many different aspects estate planning, and here at Falcon, Jacobson & Gertler, LLP, we can help you with those tasks.
Any claims brought against the estate may turn into estate litigation if the executor or representative of the estate does not agree with the claim. Estate litigation can also result from will contests, which is when a potential beneficiary or heir challenges the will. Most estate litigation will be settled in a court-ordered mediation, and the attorneys at Falcon, Jacobson & Gertler, LLP will guide you through the process.