Passing an Inheritance to Your Children: 4 Factors To Consider

An attorney preparing an estate documentation

Parents often want to ensure their children’s future is secure by leaving them an inheritance. A survey from Ameriprise Financial found that 77 percent of parents intend to leave their children or grandchildren an estate. However, only 50 percent have made put plans in place to do so.

Passing an inheritance requires considerable planning. You’ll need to prepare your estate in advance so that your children can receive their inheritance without any hiccups. Moreover, there are certain factors, like probate, you must consider before you begin estate planning. We usually recommend consulting a probate lawyer before you start your estate planning. In addition, hiring an estate law attorney to assist you with drafting your will and other essential documents is also an excellent idea.

Passing Inheritance to Your Children

Once it’s time to pass inheritance, you need to ensure you’ve considered all the factors carefully. Some factors you should assess before leaving an estate include:

Manage Expectations

We recommend creating open lines of communication to ensure you can manage your children’s expectations regarding their inheritance. While sharing information with your children is necessary, it doesn’t mean revealing everything about yourself to them. Estate planning remains a parent’s decision. However, you can try bringing them into the fold by letting them know where they stand financially. Moreover, communicate clearly that their inheritance may change if you need the money for unforeseen medical costs. Finally, let them know essential information like where you keep the vital documents, the terms of the inheritance, etc.

Level the Playing Field

If you want to avoid your children squabbling among themselves after you’re gone, you should divide assets equally. Moreover, also ensure that you split responsibilities for managing your affairs as equitably as possible. Leaving your children with unequal inheritance can often cause them to harbor resentment towards you and toward each other. One method of avoiding such problems is to level the playing field.

Explain Unequal Distribution

If you decide to divide your inheritance unequally, we recommend sitting your children down and explaining to them. Parents often leave unequal estate due to several reasons. For instance, one of your children may be a high-powered stockbroker working on Wall Street, while the other is a public-school teacher. Parents may leave a more substantial sum to the child with less money since they need it more. However, the likelihood that the other sibling understands the parent’s reasoning isn’t always apparent. Instead, your stockbroker child may harbor resentment because they might believe you care for your other child more. If you don’t wish to communicate with them, make sure to leave notes in your will explaining your decisions.

Use a Trust

If you’re unsure about whether your children can handle their inheritance, consider using a trust. Many estate planners recommend creating a trust that distributes the assets in chunks. For instance, your trust may pay a portion of your estate when your children turn 25, and they may not receive the next share until they turn 40. Many estate law attorneys recommend using this approach to avoid your children blowing through their inheritance by spending recklessly.

A man signing trust documents

Seek Assistance Dividing Your Estate from a Legal Professional

If you’re considering leaving an inheritance for your children, we recommend seeking legal counsel immediately. If you’re seeking assistance with estate planning in NYC, we can assist you.

The law offices of Ledwidge and Associates help clients plan their estates in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Our attorney Joseph Ledwidge personally tends to clients seeking legal advice regarding probate and estate law.

Contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation with us.

Mitigating New York’s Estate Tax Cliff

A notary putting a professional seal on a legal document

Federal and State Estate Taxation

Most people seem to harbor a misconception that there’s no federal estate tax to pay. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. However, the federal estate tax only applies to limited states because most people’s estates aren’t valuable enough for the government to tax them. Those curious to learn will be interested to know that federal estate tax only applies to estates valued at over $11.70 million.

In addition, there’s also local state tax that you need to consider. Depending upon the state you live in, different tax brackets may exist for your estate. New York’s estate tax rate ranges from 5 percent to 16 percent, substantially lower than the federal government’s whopping 40 percent tax rate. However, unlike the federal government, New York starts taxing your estate if its value exceeds $5.85 million. You must note that married couples have an unlimited marital deduction, meaning they don’t need to pay any estate tax if their first spouse dies. However, if you’re single and living in New York, there’s the dread tax cliff.

What is the Tax Cliff?

Let’s assume you were leaving an estate of $20 million for your children. Since your estate exceeds the exemption amount for both federal and state estate taxes, you’ll have to pay both. The federal government only charges you an estate tax on the amount exceeding the exemption value. Therefore, you would have to pay a 40 percent tax on $9.3 million instead of the whole $20 million. The reason you’re only paying an estate tax on the $9.3 million in this example is that the federal government has set $11.70 million as the exemption amount.

Following this example, your state’s estate tax would also be similar. Assuming your state has a 10 percent flat tax rate on estates, you would have to pay a tax on the value above the exemption amount.

However, in New York, things don’t operate the same way. Continuing with this example to illustrate the point, you’ll have to pay an estate tax on the entire $20 million amount, even though New York’s exemption figure is $5.85 million. If you were living in another state with the same exemption amount, you would only have to pay tax on $14.15 million. This disparity in figures explains why many people dread New York’s tax cliff.

Therefore, the tax cliff refers to the larger your estate grows, the higher off a cliff you fall.

Making charitable donations under the Santa Clause provision

Avoiding the Tax Cliff

We recommend consulting an estate law attorney to help you prepare a strategy to lower estate taxes. In addition, a probate lawyer might also be able to assist you.

Many people have found ways around the tax cliff. For instance, people use the Santa Clause provision to avoid suffering from the tax cliff. You can include the Santa Clause provision in your estate planning.

People will often donate money to charitable causes by making conditional bequests in their Will. Let’s assume you’re leaving $6.15 million in your estate. New York’s exemption amount is set at $5.85 million, meaning you’ve exceeded the limit by $300,000. However, the New York government will tax your entire estate, including the amount underneath the exemption figure, resulting in a total estate tax of $529,500. The tax cliff proves detrimental to your heirs since they only receive $5.62 million instead of the $5.85 million they would have received if you lived in a different state.

People will often include the Santa Clause provision, which will donate $300,000 from the $6.15 million estate you left behind to charity, thereby ensuring your heirs receive $5.85 million instead of the lowered $5.62 million after New York’s estate taxes.

Seek Legal Counsel to Deal with New York’s Tax Cliff

We recommend seeking legal counsel if you’re trying to avert New York’s tax cliff. The offices of Ledwidge and Associates can assist you with your legal needs.

We’re a real property law firm in NYC, assisting clients with their estate planning in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Moreover, our attorney Joseph Ledwidge personally aids clients with their probate and estate law needs.

Contact us today for more information.

4 Factors to Consider when Choosing a Guardian

Estate planning often begins with writing a Will and choosing an executor. Once you’ve passed that stage, you must proceed to pick a guardian for your children. Selecting a guardian isn’t a straightforward process. We recommend you consider finding someone who’s reliable and trustworthy. The person should be willing to put your children’s best interests forward. If anything happens to you, the responsibility of caring for your child falls to their guardian, which is why you need to select someone you can entrust with your children’s lives. Also, if you don’t pick a guardian for your kids, child custody services can place your children in foster care.

The foster care system suffers from numerous problems, causing many children to bounce around between homes. In addition, children in foster care often suffer from abuse or neglect. Statistics show that 9 in 1000 children in the United States are victims of abuse and neglect in the foster system. Preventing your child from the same fate means that it’s essential you pick a guardian.

A person’s Will

How to Pick a Guardian for Your Children

Selecting a guardian to watch over your child is one of the most vital decisions you’ll ever make in your life, which is why you must take the time to consider all the candidates carefully. Here are some factors that you need to think about before choosing a guardian:

Personality

We recommend you carefully assess a candidate’s personality before asking them to be your child’s guardian. We urge you to reflect on whether the person will serve as a good role model for your child.  Moreover, you should also consider their temperament and whether they’ll be able to effectively support your child in transitioning to a new home if something happens to you.

Financial Means

Many people consider discussing financial means a controversial factor when selecting a guardian. However, the truth is that you want to ensure your child’s guardian can afford to care for them. Although we recommend having a life insurance policy to avoid plaguing your child’s guardian with financial expenses, sometimes financial complications can occur. Your child’s guardian should have the means to bear child expenses.

Emotional Availability of Your Guardian

Before selecting a guardian, assess their emotional availability. We also recommend speaking to them to see if they are willing to raise your child as their own if something happens to you. Your child’s guardian will have obligations and a lifestyle they adhere to, but you must assess whether they’ll be willing to adapt and become a parent for your child in your absence.

Physical Ability to Parent

Another factor to take into consideration is a person’s physical ability to parent. Many people often want to entrust their child’s life to a grandparent. However, depending on your child’s age, it’s possible that giving guardianship of your child to a grandparent may not be a wise decision. For instance, if your child is five years old, there’s a possibility their grandparent may pass away before your child becomes of legal age. Moreover, if their grandparent is old and plagued by physical ailments, they may be incapable of physically taking care of your child.

A man writing guardianship clauses in his Will

Entrusting Legal Guardianship of Your Child

Once you’ve chosen a guardian for your child, it’s time to make it official by incorporating it into your Will. We recommend consulting an estate law attorney to help you draft your Will and other legal documents. The law offices of Ledwidge and Associates house some of the finest estate law lawyers in NYC. Our attorney Joseph Ledwidge has over fifteen years of experience as a probate lawyer and an estate law attorney.

Get in touch with us today to begin your estate planning.

 

 

3 Benefits of Establishing Trusts for Adult Children

An attorney consulting with a client on the phone

Most parents want to leave their hard-earned assets to their children after their passing. They spend countless hours consulting with their estate law attorney formulating an estate plan that encompasses every detail. Further consultations may also occur as parents search for the best way to pass on their wealth to their children while minimizing the state’s interference through probates. In addition, they’ll consult probate lawyers to help them devise more suitable strategies for the transfer of inheritance. Most probate attorneys will recommend you create a trust.

Many people harbor a misconception that trusts are only suitable for children who aren’t of legal age. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You can create trusts for your adult children too. In addition, you can create continuing trusts that your children can access in their lifetime.

We’ve prepared this blog post to help you understand how trusts function and why you might want to consider leaving your assets in a trust for your adult children.

What is a Trust?

A trust is an excellent way to protect your assets. It involves entrusting your assets to another individual or party to safeguard them for your beneficiary’s benefit. Most states allow for your beneficiary to also become a trustee. Typically, people utilize trusts to pass their assets to children who aren’t of legal age. However, continuing trusts also exist.

A notary putting a seal on a trust agreement

Benefits of Creating a Trust for Your Adult Children

You should consider creating a trust for your adult children due to several reasons. These include:

Assess Your Children

You might want to assess your children before entrusting them with an inheritance. It can be challenging for parents to set their love aside and be critical of their children, but in such cases, it’s necessary. Your children may be brilliant individuals, prospering in their careers. However, they may have obstacles to overcome in their personal lives. If your child has difficulty managing their finances, entrusting them with an inheritance might not be the best idea. Similarly, if your child has a substance abuse problem or a gambling addiction, you don’t want to give them access to all your assets because having a larger pool of resources could compound their problems.

Placing money in a trust allows you to circumvent these problems. Instead of handing your children a lump sum, you can put clauses in the trust agreement that ensures they only receive a certain amount annually to protect them. Sometimes, we can be our worst enemies. Establishing a trust allows you to protect your children from themselves.

Protection from External Parties

Creating a trust also protects your children from external parties. If your child has a rocky marriage and gets a divorce, their ex-spouse could try to claim their inheritance as part of the marital assets. Establishing a trust can prevent such problems from occurring, safeguarding your child’s inheritance against divorce settlements. Moreover, a trust also protects your child’s inheritance from bankruptcy trustees and creditors. In addition, you can also direct the trust to divert any unspent money to your grandchildren, ensuring that their futures are secure.

Tax Incentives

Many states have high estate taxes that can significantly undercut the inheritance you leave for your children. Moreover, probates can further reduce the amount your children receive. Creating a trust allows you to circumvent many of these taxes, ensuring you leave a more substantial sum for your children’s future.

Creating a Trust with the Help of Estate Law Attorneys

If you’re looking to create a trust, you’ll require the help of an estate law attorney. The law offices of Ledwidge and Associates can assist you in creating an infallible trust agreement that protects your children from themselves and external parties.

Our attorney Joseph Ledwidge personally helps clients with matters of estate and probate law.

Ledwidge and Associates is a real property law firm in NYC, providing clients expertise on estate planning in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

Contact us today for more information.

Why DIY Estate Planning Is Not a Good Idea

A man penning his Will

The internet has created several resources that allow people to do nearly anything by themselves. Want to modify your car’s bumper plate? All you have to do is look up a video on YouTube. Considering replacing your kitchen sink faucet? Google yields innumerable results for DIY guides. However, despite the plethora of resources available on the internet, you should never take legal matters into your hands. Instead, you’ll be better off shelling out a few bucks to hire a competent lawyer. Estate planning works the same way.

Although there are numerous guides and applications to help you plan your estate by yourself, we advise you to refrain from falling prey to the sentiment that you can do it yourself.

Estate planning is a complex procedure that requires extensive knowledge of the law. One tiny mistake could result in your children not receiving the assets you set aside for them. There are numerous statutes that you need to know to prepare an impeccable estate law. Most people preparing an estate law by themselves aren’t lawyers, so they’re more likely to make an error that could have grave consequences.

Why You Shouldn’t Prepare Your Estate Plan

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t plan your estate. These reasons include:

No Legal Advice

Going to an estate lawyer means you get legal guidance. A lawyer is well-versed in the statutes regarding their relevant field. However, if you’re opting to prepare an estate plan by yourself, you don’t have access to any legal counsel. Moreover, you’re unlikely to find a single source that can address all your concerns and worries.

While you can educate yourself on the necessary laws, you still have to consider how they impact your particular familial situation. The application of statutes can often vary, depending upon personal circumstances. In addition, you’re unlikely to find the necessary information online if you have a special needs child. Therefore, while you may find a guide online that addresses all the general questions, it’s improbable that you’ll find a source that can help you with matters relating to your family.

State Specific Compliance

Estate planning laws can vary from state to state. For instance, the statutes that apply in Oregon may be inapplicable in New York. Moreover, state laws regarding power of attorney and advance medical directive also differ, creating complexities that you can’t handle. Furthermore, if your Will doesn’t adhere to state laws, the court may consider it invalid, rendering more problems for your children.

A lawyer assisting a client

Administering Trusts

A probate lawyer will help you set up trusts to allocate your assets to your children. Probate lawyers are aware of probate laws, and they can guide you on how to reduce the tax your children will have to pay to receive their inheritance.

However, setting up trusts is an intricate procedure. Depending on the trust’s purpose and the assets you own, you may have to transfer the assets from your name into the trust’s name. If you fail to follow any of these steps or make an error, your children could face significant problems, requiring them to go through probate court and pay probate taxes to receive their inheritance.

Consult a Legal Firm for Your Estate Planning

If you’ve read through this blog post, it may be abundantly clear that planning your estate yourself isn’t the best idea. If you’re looking for help with your estate planning in NYC, the law offices of Ledwidge and Associates can assist you.

Ledwidge and Associates is a real property law firm assisting clients with estate planning in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Our attorney Joseph Ledwidge helps clients with their estate planning and probate needs.

Contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our estate law attorneys.

 

5 Essential Estate Planning Tips for New Parents

A couple holding a baby

Most people find their lives changing when they become parents. You find yourself responsible for a life other than yours, often requiring you to make sacrifices for the best interests of your children. Your paternal or maternal instincts start kicking in, making you worried about the slightest challenge your child has to bear. Most parents will save up their money, accumulating every penny to fulfill their child’s every need. However, there’s one thing many new parents overlook, and that’s estate planning.

What is Estate Planning?

Estate Planning refers to the process of preparing tasks for the dispersing of a person’s estate after their demise. Estate planning requires anticipation and extensive planning to ensure your progeny receives your assets if anything happens to you.

Most people plan their estates with the assistance of an estate law attorney.

Estate Planning for New Parents

New parents often underestimate the importance of estate planning. Ensuring that you have plans in place can prevent problems arising should anything happen to you. Moreover, planning the allocation of your assets ensures that your child has everything provided for if you aren’t around.

Here are some essential tips for planning your estate as a new parent:

Write a Will and Appoint a Guardian

New parents should start by penning a Will. You can’t appoint a guardian without explicitly mentioning it in your Will, which is why writing one should be your priority. Moreover, your Will can also contain necessary information regarding the disposal of your assets. In addition, you can also use your Will to create a trust for your child. Once your child turns of legal age or age that you’ve specified in your Will, they’ll be able to access the trust you’ve left behind for them.

A person’s Will

Select an Executor

You’ll need to find someone you can entrust to execute your Will. The executor is responsible for distributing your assets and selling them, if need be, to pay off debts. You must choose an executor carefully because they’ll have control of your assets until your child turns of legal age.

Create a Trust

Many lawyers will recommend that you create a trust. Trust assets don’t undergo probate, meaning you’ll save significantly on taxes. In addition, they also give you more control over how you want to distribute assets to your children. Parents often set up trusts with specific clauses to ensure their children follow them to access trust funds.

We recommend consulting a probate lawyer before setting up a trust. At Ledwidge and Associates, attorney Joseph Ledwidge personally works with you to help you achieve your legal goals.

Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive

We recommend considering a power of attorney for financial and health matters. Moreover, we also recommend creating an advance medical directive. If you become incapacitated, an advance medical directive includes instructions on how to proceed with your healthcare.

In addition, granting power of attorney can also provide your spouse access to your finances to pay necessary bills, like medical emergency bills, and provide for your child’s needs.

Consider Life Insurance

Purchasing life insurance doesn’t have anything to do with estate planning. However, if you have an untimely demise, it can create financial problems for your partner and child. If they haven’t prepared to handle the situation, they might find themselves short for cash and unable to pay the rent or buy food.

A life insurance plan can help your family transition to a life without you while minimizing their financial burdens.

Plan Your Estate Today with Our Legal Help

If you’re a new parent looking to plan your estate, we can help out. The law offices of Ledwidge and Associates offer estate planning services in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the rest of NYC. We can help you prepare a comprehensive estate plan to ensure your child receives your assets if anything unfortunate happens to you.

Contact us today to get started with your estate planning.

What Happens When There’s No Will?

A will is crucial and a great way of looking after your family once you pass away. It ensures everyone gets their due share as per your commands rather than let the state decide how things will be. Due to conflicts and favoritism, there might be biases, often justifiable in the will claim, which the decedent can make as they please as long as they are legal. Here’s what happens if you fail to make a will before your inevitable death:

Single and Childless Upon Death

If a person dies without having any children and not married, the estate is split between the parents. If the parents are also deceased, the property will then be passed onto their siblings, including any half-siblings in equal divisions. If one of their parents are deceased, then the remaining parent and siblings share the property. If they do not have living parents, siblings or any descendants of their siblings, their mother and father’s relatives will receive the property.

In case a person dies single but had children, the children will receive the property left behind in equal parts.

Death of a Married Person Without a Will

This is where it gets trickier. If you died without a will, asset distribution takes place depending on how they were owned. Separate property goes to spouse, your siblings and your parents, while community property belongs to the spouse alone. This applies for the current spouse with which they have children, in case of multiple marriages.

If their last spouse did not have a child with them, the latest spouse and the children from the other spouse will receive the property.

Domestic Partnership

As many states don’t legally recognize the status of domestic partnership, the legalities are unclear. In most cases, the state will decide what will happen in such cases.

Live-In Relationship

Laws of intestacy only apply for relatives, which disables most live-in partners that have not been married from being able to inherit anything from their deceased spouse.

The probate procedure can be fairly overwhelming with all the paperwork and consideration involved. It’s best to have a probate lawyer to assist you in the dealings. At Ledwidge and Associates, we’re experienced in probate law, helping out families and estates deal with the issues of probate law, allowing them to move on amicably. Reach out to the business today if you seek a probate law or litigation lawyer.

 

 

3 Tips for Debtors for Probate

After a person’s passage, dealing with some of the debt they leave behind can be fairly daunting. There’s a lot to pay attention to, often with strict legal timeframes and regulations that you’re normally unaware of. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Exterior of judicial building.

Compiling and Categorizing the Various Debts

Before the probate process begins, it’s best to compile a list of all of the liabilities left behind by the decedent. You should have a detailed record of lines of credit, property, federal and state taxes. Any loans they’ve taken, overdue bills, any insurance policies and mortgage that they may have left behind.

Experts recommend categorizing liabilities into two sections, as administrative expenses to pay before probate and the final bills that you can pay off after the probate is opened.

Administrative Expenses

Administrative expenses are those expenses that need to be kept current until the estate closes. These include mortgage, property taxes and utility bills for the property. For the decedent, you can consider any loans, bills for credit cards, cell phones and income taxes. These shouldn’t be paid out of pocket, and will fall upon the estate executor to take care of during the settlement procedure.

Beneficiaries will have to decide if they want to keep assets with the loan against them, having to pay the debt or if they have to be made from the estate.

Bills and Mortgages During Probate

Once the probate is open, it’s the estate executor’s responsibility for taking care of the decedent’s bills. At this point, creditors may step forward as well, which need to be verified and validated by the executor and dealt with accordingly. The executor also has to decide if and what assets need to be sold off to pay for any of the decedent’s expenses and bills.

 

Portrait of weighing scale.

The beneficiaries will also get reimbursements if they paid any of the decedent’s bills before the probate estate was opened. There are certain exceptions to this, notably those beneficiaries that receive real estate from the deceased.

The probate procedure can be fairly overwhelming with all the paperwork and consideration involved. It’s best to have a probate lawyer to assist you in the dealings. At Ledwidge and Associates, we’re experienced in probate law, helping out families and estates deal with the issues of probate law, allowing them to move on amicably. Reach out to the business today if you seek a probate law or litigation lawyer.

 

Trustee Succession and Resignation—A Guide

A person signing an important document

If you’re in the process of estate planning, your estate lawyer may have mentioned “trusts.” Trusts are a great way to protect your wealth for your loved ones once you’re gone. They may also be used as a way to gain tax advantages.

So, does creating a trust make you a trustee? Well, sort of.

Technically, the person who arranges the trust is referred to as the grantor.  But once the grantor passes away or becomes incapacitated for any reason, trustee succession takes place.

What’s Trustee Succession?

Trustee succession is simply the process through which a trustee takes over the administration of a trust when the grantor or previous trustee has died, become incapacitated, or has resigned.

Trust agreements mention important details regarding trustee succession including names of successor trustees. They may also mention whether there are to be co-trustees, how exactly the succession is to take place, and the resignation process as well.

Most grantors select family members including spouses, or their children as trustees. However, a professional trustee who’s more well-versed with the management aspects of a trust can also be chosen as the successor trustee.

How Does Trustee Resignation Work?

As is obvious by the phrase, trustee resignation refers to the process of a trustee signing off from their responsibilities as a trustee.

Trustee resignation is usually defined by two things. Firstly, the law of the particular state where the trust is created. And also, the resignation terms mentioned in the trust agreement.

So, if you wish to resign, go over the original Trust agreement. This will tell you if there is a successor trustee already listed. If there isn’t one, you may be able to appoint a new one. Or they can be chosen by the original grantor (if alive, of course) or perhaps the beneficiaries. And if none of the options are applicable, then the court can come up with a new name for the trustee.

Once a new trustee is appointed, all you really need to do is fill in and sign the resignation form and provide the complete records and documents of the trust’s management during your tenure.

Why Would One Want to Resign as A Trustee?

Managing a trust can become an overwhelming responsibility. One may think they’re up for it, only to realize later that it’s far too much responsibility. Or in some cases, trustees may suffer from health conditions that no longer allow them to carry out their administration duties the same way.

But regardless of whether you have a valid reason or not, you can usually resign from your duties as a trustee at any point. All you need to do is ensure that all the terms of the trust are being respected and upheld and that your resignation is in line with the law.

 

If you need help with the legalities of resigning from a trust, get in touch with a litigation lawyer. And if by any chance you require a litigation lawyer in Queens or surrounding areas, you can give us a call.

 

3 Common Reasons Wills are Contested

Some documents titled “Last Will and Testament”

Most of us write down our wills and think our job is done. We think that with some basic estate planning we’ve ensured that our possessions will be passed down safely after our demise.

But sadly, it’s not always that simple.

Statistics show that every year about 0.5 to 3 percent of wills are contested in the US. So even if your will is properly signed and witnessed, there is still a chance for it to be contested.

Here are a few of the most common reasons wills are contested.

The Will’s Creator Is Suspected to Have Been Influenced

Testamentary capacity is very essential when creating a will. This basically means that the person creating and signing the will needs to be an adult with normal mental capacity. This essentially implies that the creator needs to be old and sane enough to understand their actions and what the will implies.

The testator needs a thorough understanding of not only their own assets and the value of their estate but also the role their will plays in distributing it. Moreover, they need to understand who they’re signing off as beneficiaries, and so on.

If there’s any valid doubt on the deceased person’s mental capability to create the will in question, then the will can be contested.

The Will Is Incomplete

The will can be considered incomplete on two conditions. Firstly, if it has technical issues like an improper number of witnesses, missing signatures, or isn’t formatted correctly (based on the state’s laws).

But the will is also incomplete if it hasn’t been updated. After every major event in your life, your will needs to be re-evaluated and revised accordingly.

Getting married, divorced, having or adopting children, or acquiring a large amount of inheritance or real estate are all occasions that require you to update your will. Failing to do so can result in the will being contested after your death.

The Will Contains Fraudulent Terms

Wills are most often contested when there are doubts about how genuine they are or whether they’ve been tampered with in any way.

For instance, someone may have reason to believe that the signature on your will isn’t authentic. Or it may look like parts of the will have been crossed out or removed without authorization. Or perhaps, you’ve mistakenly added a faulty clause or an invalid request. There may even be evidence that points toward you being influenced by a family member while writing the will.

 

And even if your will is 100 percent genuine, at that point there’s little you can do, since you’re probably in a coffin.

 

So, to make sure your will is legally correct and as accurate as possible, you need an estate law attorney to help you out.

You can give us a call if you’re located in or around Brooklyn and need a Estate lawyer Queens or Estate lawyer Brooklyn.