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Planning for Everyone You Love and Everything You Have

 

Do you know what would happen legally to you, your loved ones, your money if something unexpected happened to you?

Even if you don’t have an estate plan, the State of New York has a plan for you.

Do you know what the people you love would have to deal with if something unexpected happen to you? If you don’t know, then the first step is to find out exactly what would happen, legally and financially, so that you can decide if the plan the State of New York has in store for your family is okay with you.

To do this, we conduct a Family Wealth Planning Session, where we spend 1-2 hours together where you'll teach me about your family, loved ones, and what's important to you and I'll teach you about estate planning. Before your Family Wealth Planning Session, you will complete an Estate Planning Worksheet, which will help you to get clear about what you own and what your priorities are when it comes to planning for the well-being and care of your loved ones and belongings. If you decide the plan that the State of New York has for you is unacceptable, and if we both decide that we're a fit to work together, then we can design an estate plan together that will best suit the needs of your family and loved ones.

The foundation of your estate plan will often include a revocable living trust. One of the benefits of a revocable living trust is that when done correctly and maintained over time, your estate plan should help your family to avoid the time, expense, and public nature of probate and minimize or eliminate estate taxes.

For people with additional needs, we provide advanced estate planning services such as Asset Protection, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, and Standalone Retirement Trusts, to name but a few.

Unfortunately, most estate plans don’t work because much of what passes for estate planning is little more than word processing. You are asked a few questions and then the attorney (or worse, online document preparation service) decides which “plan” is right for you, and fits you into their template. This is not estate planning; it is little more than a “search and replace” of your family’s name and then a hit of the “print” button which spits out form documents.

Your family deserves better. At Katzner Law Group we will educate you, take the time to get to know you, your family, your concerns, your goals and your issues and will gladly and patiently answer all your questions to produce an estate plan that is exactly right for you. After all, it's your estate plan that we're putting in place, not ours! Too many lawyers forget that.

If you are a family with young children, then your estate plan should begin with a foundation that ensures your children would always be taken care of, no matter what happens. At Katzner Law Group, one of our areas of greatest expertise is protecting minor children.

What Would Happen to Your Kids if the Unthinkable Happened to You?

Did you know that 70% of parents have not yet named guardians for their kids?

Of those who have, most have made one of 6 common mistakes most parents (and their lawyers!) make when naming guardians (You can learn about these, and how to avoid them, by downloading our eBook "Why I Took These 9 Simple Estate Planning Steps to Protect My Children (and maybe you should too)".

Don’t let this happen to your family! We protect your children with our Child Protection Planning Kit, something we include standard with every estate plan in which a minor child is involved.

Without proper planning, if the unthinkable happens to you, here’s what could happen:

  • Your children could be placed into Child Protective Services(CPS) even if you have a will or revocable living trust in place;
  • A Judge who doesn’t know you, or your family, will decide who will raise your kids, even if it’s the last person you would ever want;
  • Approximately 5% of the total value of your assets could be lost due to probate, a court process that can tie up your assets for months or years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably;
  • When your kids turn 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left in their trust account. They can then do whatever they want, whenever the want with these assets;
  • There are unscrupulous people who make it their business to review public records to find out what 18 year olds are coming into money;
  • The vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues, and do not plan from a parents perspective.

We have designed our practice to ensure these things don’t happen to our clients! That’s why we offer a Child Protection Planning Kit with every estate plan we do for families with young children.

We love to inform and educate our clients about their planning options because estate planning is not one-size-fits-all. Whether you have few or many assets, minor or adult children, special needs planning, or advanced trust planning we will craft a customized plan aligned with your goals.

If you review the various links below you can learn more about estate planning as it relates to your particular situation.

Married Couple with Minor Children

Most parents of minor children put off estate planning because they do not think they have significant assets that need protection or because they cannot bear to think about not being there for their children. But the truth is that the only way to effectively protect those you love the most in the event of the unthinkable is through a thoughtful and well-crafted estate plan.


Married Couple with Adult Children

The kids are all grown up and independent now. You don’t have to worry about naming guardians for them anymore. However, there are still many questions to consider and decisions to make.


Married Couple with No Children

As a married couple, you enjoy certain tax benefits that unmarried couples don’t. However, without proper planning in place, you will lose those benefits and possibly end up having to pay thousands of dollars in taxes if something unfortunate were to happen to your spouse.


Single/Divorced with Children

Estate planning is simply more important if you're a single parent. You don't have a surviving spouse to rely on to raise your child should something happen to you.


Single Without Children

When you are single with no children, estate planning becomes even more challenging because you don’t have the benefits of deferring estate taxes via your spouse or children. It's also more difficult to ensure that your final wishes are carried out without a spouse or children in whom they can be entrusted.


Blended Family Planning

Balancing the needs of a multi-generational blended family with your own wishes can be a complicated task, especially when it comes to estate planning. With a majority of Americans not only marrying once, but twice, three or even four times during their lives, it is a challenge that will come to many.


Special Needs Planning

If you currently provide care for a child or loved on with special needs, whether it’s a mental, physical or developmental disability, you are likely concerned about what would happen to them should something happen to you and you are no longer able to care for them.