Imagine the emotion of having a parent or relative die and then deal with the shock of being left a large sum of money as an inheritance. Many would not consider it a burden. However, without the proper plan to handle that kind of change in your life, you could be left mismanaging the money, fighting with siblings and wasting away money your family worked hard to save.
That's why as previously discussed on New York Probate Lawyer Blog, it is imperative you select a proper executor or trustee in dealing with estate planning. A well-qualified New York Probate Attorney can help plan and manage an estate, including life insurance, stock options and real estate.
For example, consider the trouble this Illinois woman had when her mother died of cancer in June 2007. She and her four siblings inherited their parents' $1 million house, according to CNN Money.
While all siblings agreed to sell the house, it became a hassle because some believed the house was overpriced and others thought it was priced correctly. Eventually, the house sold, though for 9 percent less than their initial estimate. But in the meantime, the siblings had to pay utility bills, landscaping costs and deal with a house that was nearby to no one.
AS CNN Money points out, there are challenges to being a beneficiary. While it is comforting to be remembered and while there is likely a material benefit, there are challenges, including tax laws, family drama and complexity surrounding business dealings.
New York probate law requires court intervention, affidavits, petitions and notice to family members, all of which can be daunting for someone to do on their own. And, if done incorrectly, it can become an ongoing financial burden that relatives never intended it to be.
When dealing with an inheritance or a will, consider how an experienced New York City probate attorney can assist you in either planning your estate or executing the will of a loved one:
- Planning your trusts and estates: You should start by taking inventory of your assets and deciding who should execute your will and to whom you want to leave your assets. An attorney is best able to assist you in making and executing a plan.
- Choosing an executor: A New York State executor may be appointed when someone leaves assets after death. If you are chosen as an executor, you may need sound legal advice on how best to execute the will.
- Dealing with contested wills: In New York, wills can be contested in court. These are often done by heirs who were left little in a will from a relative. There must be a valid legal ground for objecting to a will, but the process can be emotionally and financially exhausting. Consult a probate lawyer who can work to minimize the damage.
Jules Martin Haas represents clients dealing with New York trust and estates, real estate and guardianship. Please call me at 212-355-2575 for a free consultation.