Talking about what do with your property after you pass away is not an easy subject for most people, but it is an important one.  In New York State, the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law controls the distribution of property after its owner passes away.  New York State provides for two basic options.  Property may either pass through” intestacy,” or it may pass via a will in a “probate” proceeding.

If you die without a will, your property passes through the laws of intestacy.  Intestacy laws are designed to be generally fair on average, allowing for surviving spouses and children to get the property of the decedent.  It is important to remember that in an intestacy proceeding, the state’s laws decide how property is divided and who gets what percentage of that property, not the family members of the decedent.

When you write a will, you gain control of what happens to your property, ensuring that it is handled properly after you pass away.  When dealing with substantial wealth, aggressive estate management plans can save large amounts of money in death taxes and transfer taxes.  Many of those plans need to be implemented years before a person passes away to be fully successful.  If you have a substantial amount of wealth, you should contact Mr. Schillinger to discuss the best way to protect your legacy with your loved ones.

You don’t need to have a fortune to benefit from having a will either.   Sometimes, its most important to create a will when you’ll only be leaving a small estate.  This makes sure the people you care about receive your property, not the people the state thinks should get it.

If you have questions about estates law please contact Mr. Schillinger at (518) 477-5408 or eric@schillinger-law.com and he’ll be happy to answer your questions.