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Power of Attorney is a document that an individual, referred to as the “Principal,” signs to give another individual or several individuals , referred to as the “Agent(s)” or “Attorney-in-Fact,” some legal authority regarding the Principal’s income and assets. In the Power of Attorney the Principal specifies the amount of power given to the Attorney-in-Fact, and this individual can be given the authority to deal with only one particular issue (a specific power of attorney), or to handle most of the Principal’s personal and financial matters (a general power of attorney). In addition, the Principal will designate when the power shall become effective, for example, the Principal may only want it to become effective upon their incapacity. The Agent(s) is responsible for keeping accurate records of all transactions that he or she makes on behalf of the principal. Our office frequently guides clients on all aspects of Powers of Attorneys and designs, prepares and assists in executing ones that are their specific to their needs.

Trust, generally, is a contractual relationship between individuals and or an individual and a legal entity, like a bank. The individual wishing to place some or all of their assets and or income into the trust, is the “Settlor” or “Grantor,” the individual and or entity agreeing to hold the assets and or income is the Trustee(s). In some situations the Settlor and Trustee is the same person. The Trustee(s) must hold the assets and or income according to the terms of a “Trust Agreement.” . Common objectives for trusts are to reduce the estate tax liability, to protect property in an estate from the cost of long term care and become Medicaid eligble or from creditors, and to avoid probate. We set up trusts for our clients with deep understanding of the concerns that our clients have about protecting their hard earned assets.

Living Will is a legal document that is an expression of someones medical wishes. In a living will, for example, in the event of a devastating illness or injury, the level of life prolonging care desired will be outlined. Hand in hand with the Living will is the Health Care Proxy. In New York this is the document in which an individual gives another individual the authority to medical decisions for them in the event they are incapacitated. We have over 20 years of experience creating these docuements for our clients. We know these are hard decisions and are sensitive to our clients’ wishes.

Last Will and Testament is a legal document that declares how an estate or property will be managed, who will mangage it, and provide for Guardian for minor beneficiaries, after the writer’s death. A will is a necessary document and must be carefully coordinated with all other estate planning techinques, i.e. trusts, joint accounts and beneficiary designations, to insure the management, distribution and payment of expenses is provided for. In the event this coordination is not done carefully, the estate could become very complicated and litigious after the writer’s death. Though drawing a will may seem unpleasant, it is a document that is imperative for our clients. We take each person through the process with compassion and understanding.

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