Failing to update your Will.
The tax laws change very frequently and impact on the taxability of your Estate. Failing to update your Will to the current tax laws could result in unnecessary taxes or the restriction of assets to a Family Trust leaving a surviving spouse without any assets under their control.
Using Online Forms.
One size does not fit all. There are children who have poor marriages; children with special needs or addictions or perhaps who are spendthrifts; there are second marriages with children from a prior marriage. Online forms will not cover these different situations. A Will should be designed for your specific needs and your specific family.
Making Gifts to a minor Child.
Some gifts of assets will require a Guardian to be appointed by the Surrogates Court for a minor child. This procedure can be avoided by the utilization of a Trust.
Failing to provide for Unexpected Illnesses.
Oftentimes spouses name each other in healthcare documents but what if they are both injured in the same accident? Has a trusted party been named as an alternate? Will that third party accept the responsibility of acting in that capacity?
Selecting the Wrong Executor.
Oftentimes people select a child or a person who is very bright but has a very stressful job. The role of an Executor or Agent under a Power of Attorney requires a lot of time. Will the individual you have selected be available to act when needed?
Do I need a Trust?
In some cases, especially where property is owned out-of-State, a Revocable Trust can be an important asset in preventing unnecessary expenses. There are other circumstances where Trusts are unnecessary.
Mr. Bernstein will discuss with his clients these issues and many other issues in order to inform them as to what protection they require based upon the composition of their family and the assets which they own. Sometimes the re-titling of assets will be sufficient. Oftentimes having documents which name individuals in the event that you are unable to communicate your wishes or act can be very important. They act as a safety net.