What is Power of Attorney?

Estate Planning is a complex and in-depth process that is more than just preparing and disposing of your estate when you pass away. There are important questions and steps that must be asked and addressed. One of those steps that must be addressed is who should be able to take care of your finances in the event of your incapacity.

What is Power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a very powerful document that allows your agent, the person you designate, to act as you in a certain financial matter. If the power of attorney is durable it will continue to be effective even in the event of your incapacity. The amount of power given away is truly determined by the principal. The agent can be given power for a specific issue or for most financial matters. We recommend that immense powers be given to your agent. Due to this fact, we tell our clients that you need to have the utmost trust in your agent. We include a statutory gift rider with extended powers of gifting for Medicaid and Estate Tax purposes. This gives the agent flexibility to effectuate estate planning or Medicaid planning on behalf of the principal. The agent must act in a fiduciary capacity and only use the power of attorney to benefit the principal. The agent is responsible for keeping records for all transactions made on behalf of the principal.

Ira K. Miller & Associates has over 35 years of experience within estate planning & power of attorney. For further questions or to request a consultation please feel free to give us a call at (718) 875-2191 or fill out an online contact form.

 

When is Updating My Estate Plan Important?

Once you have gone through the entire process of creating an estate plan, there are important dates that you must keep in mind moving forward. You should revisit your estate plan after  any of the following important life events:

  • Marriage: A spouse should be provided for in a person’s will.  Even if a spouse is disinherited in a will they are entitled to 1/3 of the estate in New York, called the elective share. Having a spouse gives an estate planning attorney more options in estate planning such as joint gifting, credit shelter trusts, and a higher federal estate tax exemption.
  • Children: After having children it is extremely important to name a guardian in your will in case something happens to you and your significant other. Naming someone responsible to take care of your children in this unfortunate event is of utmost importance.
  • Passing of a Spouse or Divorce: If either of these situations happen you will certainly need to update your plan. It is highly likely that your spouse was labeled in your estate plan. Updating your estate plan and beneficiaries are necessary to reflect your wishes.
  • Financial Shift of Assets: If large enough, a persons estate may be subject to estate tax upon their passing.  Estate Planning attorneys can come up with a plan to reduce or even possibly eliminate estate taxes due.

Estate Planning is complicated and difficult to manage if you don’t have an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to guide you through. For any further information about setting up an estate plan and the process throughout please feel free to give Ira K. Miller & Associates a call at 781-875-2191 or fill out an inquiry form.

What is Elder Law?

Many people may not understand what elder law is or even know that they are looking for its services. Elder Law is a legal term used that covers a range of legal services targeted towards senior citizens & the aging population. There are three main categories and legal services involved in Elder Law and they are:

Other issues found under these main legal services encompass protecting against elder abuse, fraud & neglect. With the aging and older population growing faster then ever, the elderly need to be more protected then ever.

The Attorneys at Ira K. Miller & Associates are extremely skilled and experienced throughout Elder Law services. For further questions or information, we are happy to talk. Please feel free to give us a call at  (718) 875-2191 or fill out a consultation form.

Wealthy are Suffering without Estate Planning

In a recent story & survey by CNBC, it has been shown that more then 1/3 of high net worth families do not have an estate plan set up. They have surely not taken the basic steps needed in the case that someone dies, to protect and provide for their loved ones.

The survey has shown that 38 percent of people with over then 1 million dollars in investable assets have yet to use a financial expert to set up an estate plan. This is a major mistake when it comes to estate planning.

National director of wealth-planning strategies for U.S. Trust,  Mitch Drossman, is not surprised at these numbers and blames it to be the uncertainty and changes to the federal estate-tax law over the last decade. He describes the frequent changes led to advisers and attorneys consistently needing to reach out to their clients to explain these changes and to be sure their documents were up to date. Clients eventually just had enough with it.

“I think people tend to think of estate planning as being primarily a means to reduce estate taxes, and therefore, if they don’t have to pay estate tax, they may feel they don’t have to do any planning,” said David Mendels. While estate planning can help reduce estate tax, it is much much more.  It elects guardians for minor children, it plans for a persons incapacity, it can help protect assets from creditors, or keep a person on governmental benefits with the implementation of a supplemental needs trust.

New York is actually one of 15 states that collect a state estate tax. Currently, New York’s estate tax is significantly below the Federal Estate tax exemption.  It is set to match the Federal Estate tax exemption in 2018.

Estate planning is about protecting your assets, and providing for your loved ones. It is also about protecting your wishes regarding end of life decisions and ensuring that the people you trust are the people handling your affairs if you are unable to.

Further along in the article it reads, “A durable financial power of attorney document is also necessary, as it identifies the person you’d like to manage your money if you are unable to make decisions for yourself, said Frye. Such legal documents grant that person legal authority to pay taxes on your behalf, borrow money, pay your bills, invest and handle bank transactions.”.

Ira K. Miller & Associates has over 35 years of experience in estate planning. We are happy to answer any questions you might have.  As the article says,, “[y]ou have to plan for the worst, and hope for the best”