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Top Staten Island, NY Estate Planning Lawyers Near You

Staten Island Estate Planning Information

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Lead Counsel independently verifies Estate Planning attorneys in Staten Island and checks their standing with New York bar associations.

Our Verification Process and Criteria
  • Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
  • Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
  • Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
  • Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.

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Estate Planning For the Future

Estate planning uses legal documents to make decisions about what will happen to your property and assets after death. Planning for the future can also involve designating certain representatives who can make financial decisions if you are incapacitated or unable to communicate. Without an estate plan, any real estate, bank accounts, and personal property will be distributed according to state law, even if it would have been against your wishes.

What Are Estate Planning Tools?

There are many estate planning tools that can offer different benefits for how to plan for the future while allowing you to use your assets in the present. Some common estate planning documents include:
  • Will
  • Living trust or revocable trust
  • Irrevocable trust
  • Special needs trust
  • Living will or advance healthcare directive
  • Power of attorney

Wills and Trusts

A will is the most common estate planning too. A will is simple to make and can be updated or changed. After you pass away, the court will go through the process of estate administration with your will in probate court, to pay off any liabilities and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. Trusts can allow you to avoid probate court altogether by naming trustees to distribute your estate assets to your beneficiaries. Some trusts can also provide asset protection and offer proper estate planning benefits for your loved ones.

Living Wills and Healthcare Directives

A living will can allow you to make healthcare decisions while you are still alive if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. Also known as an advance healthcare directive, if you become seriously ill or incapacitated, your living will can make specific provisions about your own medical treatment, including what type of procedures you do not want to receive. You can also use a durable power of attorney to designate a health care proxy to make long-term care healthcare decisions on your behalf. A New York elder law attorney or estate attorney can give you more information about living wills.

How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Staten Island?

The cost of estate planning can depend on your individual circumstances. Some estate planning attorneys in Staten Island will prepare documents like a will or power of attorney for a flat fee. Other legal services may be offered based on the attorney’s hourly fees. The costs of legal services can depend on the type of estate plan, amount of assets, and an attorney’s years of experience. In some cases, the lawyer can provide a free consultation to help you decide which estate planning law firm is right for you.

Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?

New York estate planning law and individual legal issues are unique. Getting help from an estate planning law firm can help, especially if you own substantial assets and want to plan for your family’s future. An estate lawyer can give you legal advice and guide you toward the best options to minimize your estate taxes, provide the most for your future beneficiaries, and give you peace of mind.

When Should I Start Estate Planning?

Many people put off making an estate plan because they don’t think they need to. It is never too early to make plans for what might happen if you become incapacitated or pass away. If you get married, have a child, or begin to accumulate significant assets, it is time to think about making plans to provide for your loved ones. A Staten Island estate planning law office can provide an initial consultation to help you make a decision for your estate planning needs.

What estate planning documents do you need?

Every estate plan should include a last will and testament or establish a trust. This will allow you to state how you wish to distribute your assets to beneficiaries upon your death. A power of attorney declaration will name someone you trust to handle your health care and/or financial decisions if you are ever unable to. An advanced directive (also known as a living will) will state your wishes for any care you want to receive if you are unable to make those decisions at the time. This is useful when it comes to end-of-life care or if you ever need life-saving care because of an accident or illness.

When to Hire a Lawyer

It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

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