Knowledgeable New York City Attorney Prepares Properly Drawn Wills

A Will (known as a Last Will and Testament) should be prepared by an attorney, and the Will’s execution should be supervised by an attorney. There are strict requirements as to how a Will should be executed for it to be admitted for Probate. It also requires two (2) witnesses.

In the Will, you, (the testator) decides what you want to happen to your property when you die. Property includes all assets, such as cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, house, co-op and condo apartment, car(s), jewelry, coin collections, antiques, paintings, cameras, computers, clothing, and everything else that is owned by you at the time of your death. You can indicate in your Will how you want your property to be divided and distributed. You can indicate the names of the parties you want to receive your assets, how much to be received, and you can indicate this by specific items, percentages or amounts; it is all up to you! You can also decide who you want to disinherit; you don’t have to leave your assets to all of your relatives. You can leave equal or unequal amounts to different relatives. You can disinherit or leave amounts to some of your siblings (sisters and brothers) and disinherit others. However, there is one person you can not completely disinherit, – that is, if you are legally married at the time of your death, you must leave your spouse at least one-third (1/3) of your assets. Other than that one restriction, you can provide amounts or disinherit people in any amount and any manner that you wish and prefer.

You can provide for all of your close relatives, or only some of your relatives, or none of your relatives; you can provide for certain friends, and you can provide for charity.

If you have young children, you would want to name a Guardian for your children to be appointed who would make decisions for your children, manage their assets, and provide for their care. This can be provided for in your Will.

By drawing up a Will with an attorney, you make the decisions, who you want to inherit from your estate, in what amounts and what percentages; also, who you may want to disinherit; also, who you want to take care of your children.

It is presumed these are important reasons and decisions for you, but if you don’t assert your rights and indicate whom you want to receive your property and how you want it divided, in effect the State of New York makes those decisions for you, which may not be what you would have wanted. Therefore, it is certainly beneficial and important to have a Will.

What if after the Will is executed, you want to make changes. You can have a new Will prepared and executed, or you can execute a Codicil to your Will.

When there are major changes in your life, that could be an important time to look into changing your Will – such as marriage, divorce, additional children, death or incapacity of named Executor or Proposed Guardian, major change in assets, major change in tax laws, etc.

Experienced lawyer provides comprehensive advice to protect your legacy

No matter how old you are or what size your estate is, it’s essential to have a clear, authoritative will to protect your loved ones and distribute your property as you wish. Attorney Leona Beane has helped New Yorkers preserve and transfer their assets for more than 30 years through carefully drafted documents. Even if you’ve already executed a will, it might be outdated due to changes in relationships and finances. I can review your situation and identify areas where revisions can favor your beneficiaries. Dying without a will exposes your assets to the dictates of New York intestacy laws. My knowledgeable advice can ensure that your priorities are honored, not the state’s.

Importance of Executing a Will

New York Guardianship, Trusts and Estates Attorney Helping You Protect Your Assets, your estates and also your Children.

When devising your estate plan, the care of your children is likely one of your foremost concerns. Attorney Leona Beane can advise you on making crucial decisions about the financial support, protection and guardianship of your children.

If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care, which is especially crucial if you are a single parent or if both parents die in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian for your children and may make decisions adverse to your ultimate parenting goals.

What If you need to change your Will?

As your life changes, so might your overall estate plan. You may need to update your Will for several reasons throughout your life. You might need a brand new Will, or for relatively small changes, I can prepare a valid Codicil, that addresses changes in your marital status, number of children, types of assets, changes in the persons you are interested in providing for, philanthropic interests, and various other changes that you may wish to have in your Will several years later.

Care of adoring pets

You can also make arrangements for your pets’ care in your will, including naming a trustee who will take responsibility for the care of your pets.

Creating the best estate plan

Drafting this important document requires more than filling in a form. If a court determines that your will is invalid, your desires will not be honored upon your death. I meticulously draft your will and consider all aspects of your estate plan. I review your family arrangements, financial situations and philosophical goals to guide you in making the best estate planning decisions, and draft your will accordingly.

Counselor working with you to develop the optimal estate plan

Even when other financial instruments are used, a well-prepared will is an essential part of a complete estate plan. With each client and every will I draft, I cover important functions including:

  • Transferring assets to heirs — Though this seems like a simple task, the process of distributing jointly held assets or business interests efficiently can require extensive advance planning. As part of the drafting process, I make sure that everything is in place and accounted for when the time comes.
  • Enabling efficient execution of your wishes — Uncertainty after a loved one dies takes an emotional and financial toll. Do-it-yourself wills often lack clarity and consume unnecessary time and expense for your loved ones. I work with clients to establish objectively clear directions to avoid probate disputes.

Having worked with a diverse array of clients over more than three decades, I have the ability and experience to handle the most complicated and unique bequests.

Contact an established New York City trusts and estates lawyer today

Attorney Leona Beane represents Manhattan and Brooklyn clients from my downtown office on Park Place. Please call 212-608-0919 or contact me online to schedule a meeting.