Estate Planning for New Yorkers can be a very complex process. When considering a testamentary plan, it is common to immediately think about estate taxes. While such taxes are imposed in the form of New York State estate tax and the Federal estate tax, most estates are not subject to paying such taxes.
Earlier posts in the New York Probate Lawyer Blog have discussed the fundamental need to understand the nature and ownership of assets. A Last Will and Testament is going to control only the assets owned by a person in his name alone. Other assets that are owned jointly with persons with a right of survivorship are distributed to the surviving co-owners automatically upon the first party’s death. This is also true with assets that have designated beneficiaries such as life insurance and retirement accounts in the form of IRA’s and 401K’s. Continue reading →