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Estate Planning Services

Estate Planning

No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate. Creating an estate plan allows an individual to provide for loved ones and to ensure that assets are given to those people and organizations important to them. It also includes the creation of the legal documents necessary to set forth your intentions and expectations for your care if you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself.

Why is Estate Planning Important?

Everything you own is part of your estate. This includes your home, other real estate, vehicles, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture and personal possessions. An estate plan allows you, rather than a judge or the state, to determine where and when your assets will be distributed.

Estate planning is more than ensuring your assets are received by your loved ones. It provides instructions for your care and financial affairs if you become incapacitated and unable to care for yourself. It allows you to designate a guardian, as well as provide for your children in the event you pass away while they are minors. It gives you the ability to provide for family members with special needs as well as those who might struggle with substance abuse, or be irresponsible with money. And a good estate plan does all this while minimizing tax consequences, court costs and legal fees.

What should be included in my estate plan?

Depending on a client’s individual needs and goals, some or all of the following may be part of their estate plan:
Living Will and other health care directives
Asset protection from divorce, creditors, others
Charitable designations

What is an Estate Planning Attorney?

In its simplest form, an estate planning attorney helps with the creation of the legal documents necessary to set forth your intentions and expectations for your care if you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself, as well as what happens to your assets upon your death.

What Are the Risks If I Do Not Create an Estate Plan?

If you have no estate plan, and become incapacitated or disabled, the state will determine how your assets will be used to care for you. In addition, without an estate plan, any assets owned in your individual name and without a beneficiary designation, will be distributed according to New York’s intestacy laws, which might not be your wish. And if there are minor children, and both parents die, the court will be the one to appoint a guardian for your children.

What is the Process of Estate Planning?

The first step is to contact Rochford Law & Mediation to guide you through the estate planning process. We work with you to identify the goal of your estate plan, and determine how it can best be accomplished. Depending on your situation, discussion may include such topics as beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership, gifting opportunities, powers of attorney, health care decisions and the creation of specific types of trusts. Once you are comfortable with your customized plan, the necessary legal documents will be drafted for execution. Rochford Law & Mediation is with you every step of the way.

Ready to Create Your Estate Plan?

Contact Rochford Law and Mediation today