Estate Planning FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning in New York
Answers from a skilled attorney
Estate planning can be complex and involves countless local, state and federal regulations. At Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC , we address your concerns swiftly and competently. We have decades of experience helping clients plan and manage their estates, and we have a reputation for open and attentive communication that allows us to get to the heart of your needs.
Below are some common questions we receive from our clients and our answers. For further information from an estate planning attorney, call our firm.
Common questions related to proper estate planning
- What common mistakes can you make creating a will online?
- Can discussing estate plans with heirs prevent disputes?
- If my spouse dies without a will, do I automatically inherit everything because we are married?
- Should I sign my house over to my child as part of my estate plan?
- How do I choose a health care proxy?
- How do I help my parents get a will?
Call today to work with a respected estate planning attorney
Call or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with an estate planning attorney at Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC . We proudly serve Staten Island, Brooklyn and the other boroughs of New York City. Our office is located in the Corporate Park of Staten Island. Onsite free parking is available.
What common mistakes can you make creating a will online?
It is legal to create a will online, but it is not without risks. Most online programs offer only the most basic wills, which could result in your heirs paying unnecessary taxes. Online wills often do not take into consideration the difference in laws among states.
Can discussing estate plans with heirs prevent disputes?
Yes. While a properly signed and witnessed will is unlikely to be overturned, unhappy heirs might still contest it in probate court if you did not inform them of your wishes. A contested will may impede the settlement of your affairs.
If my spouse dies without a will, do I automatically inherit everything because we are married?
Not always. In some states, the estate goes into probate and a judge decides how the estate is distributed among surviving heirs in the absence of a will. Even if the estate is given to you, not having a will in place could expose the estate to inheritance taxes.
Should I sign my house over to my child as part of my estate plan?
There are advantages to signing over your house before death as part of an estate plan. It can protect the house from liens resulting from expensive medical bills and allow your heirs to save money on capital gains taxes. In some cases, you can retain a life estate in the house, allowing you to live in it until you die.
How do I choose a health care proxy?
Before naming someone as your health care proxy for your medical treatment, there are some things to consider. It is wise for the person to live close to you, especially in case of a long illness. It is also helpful for the person to be assertive enough to stand up to difficult family members or medical care providers who might attempt to make decisions against your wishes.
How do I help my parents get a will?
You should encourage your parents to contact a qualified estate planning attorney who has the skills and knowledge to help your parents draft a comprehensive will. A lawyer can also put together an estate plan for the protection and distribution of their assets.