Buffalo NY Estate Planning and Probate Questions
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is an instrument authorizing another to act as one’s agent of Power of Attorney. Under the Power of Attorney, the grantor is appointing an agent as Attorney in Fact to conduct the grantors business affairs. A full Power of Attorney allows the Power of Attorney to conduct all of the grantors business affairs, without limitation. A durable Power of Attorney remains in effect even if the grantor is physically disabled or mentally incapacitated.
What is a Health Care Proxy?
The New York State Health Care Proxy allows an individual to appoint a trusted person to make health-related decisions with respect to medical treatment in the event that the party is not physically or mentally able to make such decisions. Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers must follow your agent’s decision if you are not able to decide for yourself.
Why do I need to have a Power of Attorney or a Health Care Proxy?
In the event that you are incapacitated and are unable to make financial or health-related decisions, a court of Law will designate someone to make these decisions — someone you may not have wanted to get involved with your affairs.
Why do I need a Will?
A Will is an essential document utilized in estate planning. A Will allows you to select to whom your assets will go when you die, and the manner or timing in which they will be received. Guardianship provisions can be established for minors and/or persons under disability, and trusts created to provide for their well-being. Simple issues such as funeral and burial arrangements can be specified, and sentimental items specifically bequeathed to family or friends. A trusted person can be selected by you as an Executor, to make certain that your final wishes are fulfilled. Without a Will in place at the time of your demise, these issues are resolved by Law in the Surrogate Court.
Should I transfer or gift assets to my children before my death?
Whenever possible, it is generally a good idea to gift or transfer assets to children before your passing. However, there are many variables and issues that need to be discussed prior to gifting assets, including but not limited to both your and the children’s’ financial stability, health care needs and anticipated assistance.