A proper estate plan should accurately reflect the desires of the party creating the plan. It should also comprehensively detail the entirety of a person’s property and what they want to happen to that property in the future. With these goals in mind, it is important to be able to recognize many of the common issues with estate planning in Manhattan.
Estate planning documents must both conform to relevant state law and have the intended effect at the proper time. Estate planning can also raise important questions concerning taxation and the ability of beneficiaries to inherit property as intended. A knowledgeable attorney could help you address the common issues with estate planning in a way that has a minimal impact on your estate.
Every document that someone creates as part of an estate plan carries legal weight. Because of this, it is essential to ensure that the document conforms with all relevant legal standards. For example, Kansas Statute § 59-606 says that a will must be in writing, contain the signature of the testator, and include the signatures of at least two witnesses.
Following the State’s requirements reduces the chances that a probate court will invalidate the will in the future. Similar rules apply to the formation of trusts, living wills, and other testamentary documents. Working with a skilled attorney can help to ensure that testamentary documents take on the correct form.
Another common issue that can arise while estate planning in Manhattan involves the identification and selection of beneficiaries. While individuals are free to name any party as a beneficiary that they wish, these selections can have a profound impact on the estate planning process as a whole.
For instance, a child under the age of 18 is unable to directly inherit property through a will or trust. This means that the property must go to a guardian until that party comes of age. Additionally, failing to properly identify beneficiaries could see the court utilizing the intestacy rules to distribute property after a testator’s death. This could result in an unintended split of assets or animosity between family members. Utilizing the correct estate planning documents helps to ensure that property moves to the right beneficiaries at the proper time.
Many people wonder what the impact of taxes will be on their estate plans. For most people living in Manhattan or elsewhere in the state, this impact will be minimal. There is no estate tax in Kansas, and the federal estate tax only applies if an estate has a value in excess of $11,700,000.
Still, moving assets into trusts instead of waiting for them to move through probate could help to avoid this loss in value. In addition, beneficiaries living in states or countries that levy inheritance taxes could also lose a portion of their assets once they take control. A local attorney could provide guidance concerning the issue of taxes during estate planning.
It is normal to have questions about the estate planning process. You might have concerns about the legal formation of documents, the proper selection of beneficiaries, and tax consequences.
A seasoned lawyer could help to address each of these concerns and draft the necessary documents in ways that satisfy each legal requirement. To discuss issues with estate planning in Manhattan with a legal professional, reach out to our office today.