Trusts and Estates Planning Attorney New York
Health Care Documents (Advanced Directives)
Powers of Attorney
Safeguard Yourself & Your Future
Estate planning is a crucial process that involves the creation of a strategic plan for managing your assets while you are alive and distributing them after your death. A well-crafted estate plan ensures that your wishes are honored, your loved ones are taken care of, and your estate is protected from unnecessary taxes and fees.
The Law Office of Martha M. Dwyer offers the following estate planning services:
- Wills: A legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children and pets.
- Trusts: A trust allows a third party, or trustee, to hold and manage assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to the beneficiaries.
- Power of Attorney: A legal document giving one person the authority to act for another person in specified or all legal or financial matters.
- Health Care Proxy: A legal document appoints someone else to act as your agent for medical decisions.
- Living Will: A legal document that outlines your healthcare wishes in the event you can’t make decisions due to illness or incapacity, including preferences about life-prolonging measures.
“It’s been a refreshing change to work with a lawyer who gets things done, makes specific recommendations, and is even fun to work with.”*
Trusts are a fundamental element of estate planning. They offer a way to hold and manage assets for the benefit of your chosen beneficiaries or for the purpose of permitting someone else to manage them.
A trust is a legal arrangement in which one party, known as the trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold and manage property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary, or for the benefit of the trustor during the life of the trustor. Trusts can be an effective way to manage wealth, protect assets, and plan for the future.
The trustor can be a trustee of any type of trust during their lifetime.
There are several types of trusts, each serving different purposes:
- Revocable Trusts: Also known as a living trust, this type of trust can be altered or canceled by the trustor during their lifetime. Assets within the trust bypass the probate process, providing quicker distribution to beneficiaries.
- Irrevocable Trusts: Once established, these trusts cannot be changed or terminated without the permission of the beneficiary. They offer strong asset protection and can provide significant tax advantages.
- Charitable Trusts: These trusts are set up to benefit a particular charity or the public in general. They can provide tax benefits for the trustor.
- Special Needs Trusts: These trusts are designed to benefit individuals who are physically or mentally disabled or chronically ill. They can provide for the needs of the beneficiary without disqualifying them from receiving governmental assistance.
A will is a legal document that articulates your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children after your death. The Law Office of Martha M. Dwyer assists clients in drafting and updating wills as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
Health Care Documents (or Advance Directives)
Health care documents, also known as advance directives, are legal documents that express your wishes about the types of medical treatment you want to receive, particularly at the end of life, if you become unable to communicate or make decisions.
There are several types of healthcare documents, each serving different purposes:
- Health Care Proxy: Also known as a health care power of attorney, this document allows you to appoint someone (a health care agent) to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
- Living Will: This document specifies what actions should be taken for your health if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacity. It guides decisions on life-prolonging measures.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a powerful legal document that allows you (the principal) to appoint someone you trust (the agent) to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters. The Law Office of Martha M. Dwyer assists clients in drafting and implementing powers of attorney as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
There are several types of powers of attorney, each serving different purposes:
- General Power of Attorney: This type of power of attorney gives broad powers to a person or organization (known as an agent or attorney-in-fact) to act in your best interest. The powers can include handling financial and business transactions, buying life insurance, settling claims, operating business interests, making gifts, and employing professional help. The agent’s power to act ends if the principal becomes incapacitated.
- Durable Power of Attorney: This is a type of power of attorney that remains effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated. The document must specify that it is a durable power of attorney. In New York, all POAs are durable by default unless you specifically state otherwise in your POA.
- Limited Power of Attorney: Also known as a special power of attorney, this document allows you to specify exactly what powers an agent may exercise. It is often used when one cannot handle certain affairs due to other commitments or health reasons.
- Health Care Power of Attorney: This allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
New York adopted a new form power of attorney effective June 13, 2021. If you executed a power of attorney before, that date or after that date on an old NY form, it’s still valid. However, most trusts and estates attorneys consider the new form to be preferable as, among other things, banks are required to accept it within a short period of time. Banks have been known to take months to effect a power of attorney and that can cause great problems for the principal and the agent.
Secure your future and protect your legacy with the Law Office of Martha M. Dwyer. With over 35 years of experience, Martha brings a wealth of knowledge and an impressive track record to every client’s case.
Martha’s commitment to her clients, meticulous planning, and skilled negotiation strategies make her a trusted choice for estate planning. Don’t leave your legacy to chance.
Schedule a Consultation today for an initial discussion about your trust and estate planning needs with the Law Office of Martha M. Dwyer.
“From our first meeting until the present day, Martha has assisted me in a myriad of ways extending far beyond standard legal services – she has served as a business consultant, strategic advisor, valued networker, and thoughtful friend”*
*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome