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Estate planning secures your financial future and protects the inheritances of your loved ones. It is the process of arranging, managing, and distributing your assets during your lifetime and after your death.

The Katz Law Firm offers New Yorkers comprehensive estate planning services and takes a personalized approach when working with clients.

Whether you are a young professional just starting your career, a growing family with children, a successful business owner, or a retiree looking to ensure your legacy lives on, our attorneys work closely to guarantee we meet your needs and goals.

Why Estate Planning Is Important in New York

Many mistakenly believe estate planning is only for the wealthy or elderly. However, the truth is that everyone can benefit from having a comprehensive estate plan in their pocket.

Probate Court May Decide Who Takes From Your Estate

Without proper planning, the courts will distribute your assets according to New York intestate laws rather than your personal wishes. This means who receives which assets, how much of each asset, when the assets are distributed, etc., which could have been according to your preferences, will now be handled by the Court according to what the laws may be at such time.

Intestate distributions usually lead to unintended consequences and family conflicts.

You Risk Family Disputes, Taxes, and Added Stress

Moreover, the absence of an estate plan provokes higher tax liabilities, prolonged and public probate proceedings, and unnecessary stress for your loved ones during an already challenging time.

Working with the Katz Law Firm guarantees that you protect your assets, provide for your family, and preserve your legacy for generations to come.

Components of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

A comprehensive estate plan typically includes several key legal instruments designed to protect your assets, provide for your loved ones, and fulfill your wishes.

Last Will and Testament

Your testamentary documents specify how you want the courts to distribute your assets after your death. It also allows you to name an executor responsible for managing your estate and fulfilling your wishes.

Trusts

Trusts are powerful estate planning tools that help you manage and distribute your assets while minimizing taxes and avoiding public probate proceedings. There are various types of trusts, including revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, and special needs trusts, each serving different purposes.

Powers of Attorney

These legal documents grant authority to another person (your “agent”) to make financial and legal decisions if you become incapacitated. This conveyance ensures that someone you trust will manage your affairs according to your wishes when you cannot do so yourself.

Health Care Directives

Also known as healthcare proxies (HCP), this legal instrument lets you decide about your medical care in advance and appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Some may prefer to use a Living Will (LW) which minimizes or removes discretion for the appointed agent. The Katz Law Firm prepares both of these forms (HCP and LW) and also developed an innovative system which is a hybrid form of both types of forms, and also has customized options and preferences to help capture your personal healthcare wishes.

Beneficiary Designations

Properly designating beneficiaries for your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets can get these properties into the hands of your loved ones quickly after your death, effectively avoiding probate and the taxes accompanying the process. There may be additional benefits to having a trust be named as the designated beneficiary.

Estate Planning Considerations for Blended Families

Estate planning can be particularly complex for blended families, where one or both spouses have children from previous relationships.

Without proper planning, there is a risk that you could unintentionally disinherit children from a prior marriage or that family conflicts could arise.

Some key estate planning considerations for blended families include:

  • Ensuring your plan provides for your current spouse while protecting your children’s inheritance from previous relationships.
  • Using trusts to adequately provide for your spouse during his or her lifetime while ensuring that other or remaining assets pass to your intended beneficiaries now, at staggered times or at the appropriate times based on your wishes.
  • Clearly communicating your wishes to your family members to maximize the likelihood that your wishes will be carried out as intended, while also minimizing the potential for misunderstandings or disputes – which can be a result of your family simply caring to do what you truly wanted but having differing views as to what and why you wanted your estate plan a certain way.
  • Reviewing and updating your plan regularly to reflect changes in your family circumstances, such as the birth of new children or grandchildren.

The Katz Law Firm can advise you on the unique challenges that a blended family brings to estate planning and develop tools that balance the needs of all your loved ones.

Can You Take My Case?

Estate Planning Attorney and Charitable Giving

For many, leaving a legacy extends beyond providing for their immediate family.

Charitable giving is a meaningful way to support the causes and organizations you care about while also potentially reducing your tax liability.

An experienced NY estate planning lawyer explores several charitable gifting strategies.

  • Charitable trusts to provide income and/or assets to a charity while also benefiting your loved ones.
  • Donor-advised funds that enable you to make tax-deductible contributions currently and recommend grants to your favorite charities over time.
  • Charitable bequests within your will and/or trust to allow you to leave a portion of your estate and/or trust to a charity while still providing for your family.
  • Appreciated asset donations, such as stocks or real estate, to provide significant tax benefits for you and/or your family, while supporting a worthy cause.

Our law firm understands the tax implications and legal requirements associated with charitable giving in New York and offers options to fulfill your philanthropic goals.

Estate Planning and Digital Assets

Estate planning today has evolved to encompass not just traditional assets like property and bank accounts but also digital assets such as email accounts, social media profiles, online storage accounts, and cryptocurrency.

Without proper planning, your loved ones may face significant challenges in accessing and managing these assets after your passing.

Some steps you can take to protect your digital assets include:

  • Creating an estate inventory of your digital assets and accounts, including login credentials and passwords.
  • Designating a digital executor who will be responsible for managing your digital assets according to your wishes.
  • Providing clear instructions for how you want your digital assets to be handled, such as whether social media accounts should be closed or memorialized.
  • Ensuring that your estate planning documents, such as your will and power of attorney, include provisions for managing your digital assets.

Let our estate planning law firm help you create a comprehensive strategy to protect your online presence and legacy.

What You Get When You Work With an NY Estate Planning Attorney

Planning your estate alone can be overwhelming, especially after realizing how complex the New York Code is and the court procedures to follow.

The Katz Law Firm has knowledgeable attorneys dedicated to helping you understand estate law and develop a plan that aligns with your family’s goals and circumstances.

Read on to learn the benefits you’ll receive when working with our estate planning lawyers

1. Experience in New York Estate Planning Laws

Our legal team has studied the specific laws and regulations governing estate planning in New York. We stay up-to-date on the latest changes and developments to ensure your estate plan is legally sound and effective.

2. Customized Estate Planning Solutions

The Katz Law Firm recognizes that every client’s situation is different, and we take the time to understand your needs, goals, and concerns. Our estate planning lawyers will work closely with you to create legal documents that address your future objectives.

3. Comprehensive Estate Planning Services

Our firm offers a full range of estate planning services, including will, trust, power of attorney, healthcare directive drafting, and more. We’ll also guide you on gift and tax planning, asset protection strategies, and business succession.

4. Asset Protection for You and Your Family

Our well-crafted estate plans protect assets from unnecessary taxes, creditors, and legal challenges. The Katz Law Firm also ensures you provide for your loved ones and that the courts fulfill your wishes accordingly.

5. Peace of Mind

You can relax and enjoy your life knowing that an experienced NY estate planning attorney has put your affairs in order and protected your legacy.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning

Many people make the mistake of putting off estate planning until it is too late or the options are limited. Others may attempt to create a plan on their own without the guidance of an experienced attorney, by having a financial advisor, life insurance agent or using other resources online, each of which has not specialized on the necessary and specialized skills, do not pick up on nuances or have the experience and knowledge about other options in the estate planner’s “toolbox”, provide customized planning while actively listening and making sure your needs and wishes are heard and included in your plan to be legally effective.

These mistakes can lead to unintended consequences and costly legal battles down the road.

Some common estate planning mistakes to avoid include:

  • Failing to update your plan regularly to reflect changes in your life circumstances, such as marriages, divorces, births, or deaths.
  • Not properly titling assets or designating beneficiaries can result in the State of New York distributing assets in ways you never intended.
  • Overlooking the importance of planning for incapacity, which can leave your loved ones without the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.
  • Trying to create a “one-size-fits-all” plan that doesn’t consider your unique needs, goals, and family dynamics.

The Katz Law Firm Estate Planning Process

We have developed a comprehensive process to ensure our clients receive personalized and effective estate planning services.

Our process typically includes the following steps.

1. Initial Consultation

We begin with a confidential consultation to discuss your goals and concerns. During this meeting, we’ll gather information about your assets, family dynamics, and any special considerations that may impact your estate plan.

2. Plan Development

Our team will develop a customized estate plan tailored to your family’s needs based on the information gathered during the initial consultation. We will review several strategies and options with you, explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each approach.

3. Document Drafting and Review

Once you have approved the overall structure of your estate plan, our attorneys will draft the necessary legal documents, such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. We will review these documents with you to ensure they accurately reflect your wishes and meet all legal requirements.

4. Execution and Funding

After we’ve finalized the documents, your legal counsel will assist you in properly executing them according to New York state law. We also provide private client services to our clients, such as creating estate planning summaries and/or binders, safekeeping some or all of your documents and/or file, provide guidance and/or assistance on funding your trust (if applicable) and updating beneficiary designations to ensure that your assets are appropriately titled and aligned with your estate plan.

5. Ongoing Review and Updates

Estate planning is an ongoing process you should review and update as your life circumstances change. Our attorneys will work with you to ensure your plan remains current and effective, updating it as needed to reflect changes in your family, finances, or the law.

Protect Your Legacy with Katz Law Firm

Our law firm helps New Yorkers achieve peace of mind through effective estate planning.

We know how important it is to protect your assets from unnecessary taxes and public probate proceedings.

The Katz Law Firm in New York will guide you through every step of the planning process, and together, we’ll create tools that give you the future security you deserve.

Remember, estate planning is not just about distributing assets – it’s about protecting what matters most to you and ensuring that not only will your loved ones be cared for long after you’re gone, but that you enable your loved ones to take care of you based on careful preparation of legally enforceable documents which state what your wishes are when you are unable or choose not to discuss such topics, providing access to your assets so that you can be at ease that your funds will be used for your benefit and not burden others with your bills, and be able to have peace of mind knowing such a plan is in place for whenever the need arises

Adam Katz has been nothing but great from the moment I contacted him. He keeps me updated and informed of the details regarding my case. He is extremely knowledgeable, resourceful, and compassionate. Attorney Katz and his staff are working diligently on my behalf. I highly recommend this firm!

Rickey L.

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Our Process

FROM COMPLEXITY
TO CLARITY - YOUR ESTATE AND TAX PLANNING JOURNEY STARTS HERE

Crafting a lasting legacy that reflects your values and aspirations starts with a purpose-driven plan.

1
BOOK A CALL

Start your journey with a personal consultation to discuss your estate planning needs and questions.

2
OUTLINE YOUR GOALS

Define your legacy with clear goals for asset distribution, family protection, and wealth preservation.

3
CREATE YOUR PLAN

Craft a tailored estate plan that aligns with your objectives and provides legal protection for your assets.

4
PERFECT PEACE OF MIND

Finalize a secure, comprehensive plan for future certainty and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Let’s Get Started!
LET US HELP YOU PROTECT YOUR LEGACY

BOOK A FREE DISCOVERY CALL

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Who We Help

TAX & ESTATE PLANNING THAT GROWS WITH YOU

As Your Life Changes, So Should Your Estate Plan. Our Flexible Solutions Adapt To Your Unique Needs, Providing Ongoing Peace Of Mind.

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YOUNG COUPLES
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GRANDPARENTS
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SINGLE PARENTS
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BLENDED FAMILIES
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MARRIED WITH CHILDREN
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LIFE PARTNERS
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BUSINESS OWNERS
Meet Our Dedicated Estate Planning Attorney

MEET ATTORNEY Adam Katz, YOUR LOCAL Cedarhurst, Ny ESTATE & TAX LAWYER

Our lead estate planning attorney, Adam Katz, is passionate about helping families and individuals navigate the complex world of estate planning with compassion and a personal touch.

With more than 17 years of experience in estate planning and probate law, Adam Katz has helped countless clients achieve peace of mind by crafting comprehensive plans tailored to their unique needs and goals. He takes the time to listen to your concerns, explain your options in plain language, and guide you through every step of the process.

Adam Katz believes that estate planning should be an empowering experience, not a daunting one. He is committed to building long- lasting relationships with clients, ensuring that your plan evolves as your life changes. Whether you’re just starting your estate planning journey or need to update an existing plan, Adam Katz is here to provide the knowledgeable guidance and support you deserve.

At Katz Law Firm, we understand that estate planning is not just about drafting documents; it’s about building relationships and creating a lasting impact.

Serving
New York City and:

CRAFTING YOUR
LEGACY, ONE DOCUMENT AT A TIME!