Estate Planning to Ease Your Mind Over the Holidays

Winter break is less than a week away! Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, like my family and many other New York Jews we know, a festive air is upon us.

The week between Christmas and New Years is a prime time to vacation.  So, whether you bundle up your whole brood for the ski slopes or jet off to a tropical island with your significant other, be sure to give your family the gifts you most need: financial security in the form of asset protection and estate planning.

When working professionals take a vacation, we want to leave our worries behind.  Yet, as fiscally savvy adults it is challenging not to focus on our finances.  This is especially true for parents of young children; your loved ones need you to make intelligent choices with your money to provide for the whole family.  In order to properly relax over the holidays, we at the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn  suggest you ask yourself the following questions.  You will thank us later lounging on the beach, stress-free, with a cocktail in hand.

All the parents I know think about the welfare of their children constantly, yet a good percentage of couples occasionally choose to leave their children at home when they travel.  This arrangement can be fun for the whole family – parents receive much needed peace of mind and children have the run of the house.  However take a moment to ask yourself: When was the last time you thought about what would happen to your children if anything tragic should befall you?  Do your kids have a legal guardian who can care for them if something happens? Or have you given someone you trust, for instance your parents, the authorization to take your child in for hospital treatment? You must have a plan of legal recourse in place for your family, for disaster strikes without bias.  Any one of us, myself included, could be one of its victims.

The untimely death of a family member is a devastating thing to experience.  I wish it upon no one, but we cannot stick our heads in the sand and choose not to think about our death, no matter how young we are or how healthy we feel.  My husband and I started Estate Planning when my children were still in diapers.  We wrote a Living Will that left our twin toddlers what little savings we had and started a Trust for them as soon as we could afford it.  That was over ten years ago, and while we have amended the documents as necessary, we never worry for our kids’ financial futures; they are set for life.

You too can provide for your children in this manner.  I started early because of my profession, but it is always a good time to take control of your family’s finances.  Did you know that if put you assets in a trust before the end of the fiscal year, the money you set aside will not show up on your tax return?  And that you will increase your future eligibility for Medicaid?   It is likely that you qualify for more tax exemptions than you think.   So find out what they are and take advantage!  My associates and I at the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn believe everyone deserves the opportunity to save their family money, so tune in and learn how.