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Our Team has created brief primers on certain areas of law to assist you in familiarizing yourself with our offerings. It’s helpful to review this before reaching out to us if you are inclined.  We have also included links to useful resources.

Estate Planning FAQ

What are Discounted Gifting Techniques?

Discounted Gifting Techniques transfers minority interests, including business interests such as closely held businesses or real estate holding companies, into a Trust or outright in order to reduce the Client’s taxable estate while maintaining majority control of the gifted interest. Like other Trusts, the Trust created through Discounted Gifting Techniques can have multiple beneficiaries, such as children and grandchildren.

What is an Estate?

Simply, an Estate is all of your assets of any kind; including bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, ownership in businesses, vehicles, artwork, collections, personal belongings and more.

What is a Last Will & Testament?

Arguably the most important and the most well-known part of Estate Planning includes the creation of a Last Will & Testament, or a document (or series of documents) that demonstrate how you would like your assets to be distributed and any other instructions you would like to leave for your loved ones after your passing. Such instructions include the appointing of an Executor of your Estate, Trustee for any trusts created for your assets, and the appointing of Guardians for those who have minor children.

It is important to note, that only assets in your individual name will pass through your will. Jointly held assets, “Pay On Death” accounts, “In Trust For” accounts, and other assets with named beneficiaries (such as IRAs and life insurance) will pass to those individuals whom you designate under those policies or accounts.

For married couples with larger estates, Wills created by Pollio Law Group would divide your assets into two portions, in order to take advantage of the New York and Federal Estate Tax Exemptions. Exploiting these fluctuating Exemptions is critical in Estate Planning.

Everyone needs to have an effective Will executed, regardless of the magnitude of their assets and Estate.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is a legal structure that allows you, as the creator of the Trust, to put assets into the Trust for the benefit of others (beneficiaries) during your lifetime or after your passing. Those assets are managed by a Trustee, who you as the creator of the Trust, can name. You can then expect to carry out the Trust’s stated mission, or intent.

Types of Trusts:

  • Revocable
  • Irrevocable
  • Intervivos
  • Testamentary
  • Insurance
  • Charitable Remainder
  • Supplemental Needs
  • Qualified Terminal Property Interest Trust (QTIP)
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
  • Grantor Retained UniTrust (GRUT)
  • And more

For a more detailed description of the various Trusts, and to find out which type of Trust may be best for you, please reach out to us and we would be happy to work with you in order to maximize the benefits for your Estate.

What are the Benefits of Creating a Trust?

Benefits of creating a Trust include:

  • Avoidance of costly Estate Taxes
  • Freezing the gift value of assets that are likely to appreciate
  • Supplementation of government benefits
  • Financial and economic efficiency in settling the Estate
  • Avoidance of uncertainty or confusion in settling the Estate
  • Reduction of the possibility of a Will Contest
  • Protection of assets from dissipation and claims
  • Insurance of proper asset management during your life and after your passing
What is a Living Will & Health Care Proxy?

A Living Will is a legal document that spells out for health care providers, family members and loved ones your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that you are incapacitated temporarily or in the unfortunate case, permanently. It dictates what methods can or should not be used to prolong your life in the event that you are unable to convey those thoughts to your doctors, family members and loved ones.

In contrast, in a Health Care Proxy, or a Medical Power of Attorney, you appoint a person, usually a family member or loved one, to become your Agent who makes healthcare decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated temporarily or in the unfortunate case, permanently. It also provides instructions regarding medical care and treatment for that Agent, particularly if you become ill with no reasonable likelihood of recovery, so that the Agent may have guidance as to your wishes regarding medical care and treatment.

Both a Living Will and a Health Care Proxy are vital tools in Estate Planning, and we recommend that everyone have one when creating an Estate Plan.

What is a Power of Attorney

In a Power of Attorney (POA), you designate a trusted person or people, such as a spouse, partner, a child or children, or other trusted individuals, to act as your Agent on your behalf to make financial decisions for you. It provides clarity to loved ones, who may rely on you and your assets for continuity and stability in the event of your incapacitation or unavailability, and avoids potential conflict among surviving family members in the event they need to appoint a Guardian for you.

Depending on the type of Power of Attorney, the Agent may be able to make financial decisions only in certain scenarios or only concerning certain assets, or the Agent may be able to make all financial decisions for you.

We at Pollio Law Group can help you figure out what level of authority you would like to put in your Agent’s or Agents’ hands going forward.

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