Are you confused about estate planning? You are not alone. There are so many facets of law that can influence the formation of a solid plan.
Family trees can be complicated things. Indeed, the nature of relationships today is such that it can be hard to find words to describe a given family. There might be second families, blended families, extended families and more. Such variables also create unique challenges for the courts in New York when someone dies, especially if there is no will and the estate is significant in size.
Wills are meant to provide people with a way to designate their assets after their passing. Though this proves to be quite useful in many cases, there are some instances where specific impeding factors negatively alter or improperly affect such decisions.
Whether a loved one died without a will or portions of a will are being contested, there are times when legal disputes may arise related to a loved one's estate plan. Probate litigation matters are often highly emotional and contentious and, if not handled in a sensitive manner, things can quickly escalate and get out of hand.
Throughout one's lifetime, change is a constant. From the birth of a child to the day that child graduates college or welcomes his or her own child into the world, life's ever-evolving circumstances force us to constantly evaluate where we are and what we need to do to either stay there or reach our goals.
For many adult children, concerns over the physical and mental health of one’s parents are often a chief concern. In addition to worrying about an elderly parent falling or suffering a major health event like a heart attack, a parent's diminished cognitive health may also be concerning. According to the Alzheimer's Association, an estimated 11 percent of U.S. adults age 65 and older are currently suffering from the disease. For those who live to be 85 or older, incidences of the disease increase to 32 percent.
In February of 2012, the world mourned the loss of undoubtedly one of the best female vocalists ever. As fans remembered Whitney Houston for her many contributions to the music world, her 18-year-old daughter Bobbie Kristina struggled to make sense of and cope with the tragic loss of her mother in an apparent drug-related accidental bathtub drowning.
Unless you went to law school like we did, you're probably like a majority of people across New York and only have a basic understanding of the law. Unfortunately, a basic understanding of the law does you little good when it comes to really important legal matters, such as drafting an estate plan. That's because not knowing the specifics of the law means you are likely to make costly mistakes -- ones that could be avoided if you fully understood the law or had obtained a lawyer's services.
We frequently write about the numerous benefits traditionally associated with proactive estate planning. If you and your attorney work through your wishes and concerns in advance of your death, your loved ones will likely have far fewer reasons to dispute elements of your estate. However, even conscientious estate planning does not always result in a dispute-free future.
When beloved film star Robin Williams passed away last year, people all over the world mourned the loss. But no one has felt his absence more deeply than his loved ones. Unfortunately, like many families, Williams’s family has spent much of their time compelled to fight over his estate instead of focusing on their grief. The lessons that Williams’s children and widow are learning may hopefully teach many Americans how to deal with their estate planning in ways that leave little room for in-fighting amongst loved ones.