Need for Estate Planning

Need for Estate Planning

I do not intend to be Chicken Little with this post. However in 2011 unless Congress acts to extend the estate tax credit all estates over $1,000,000 in value will be taxed at 55% of the entire value. This means that many people who previously would have had few estate tax issues presently need to examine planning options to protect their assets for their heirs.

That means that If planning has not already begun, the clock is ticking. What do you need to do in order to be ready?

The first thing you need to do is determine what your net worth is. Compile your account statements as well as your real estate holdings. The combination of these two basic totals will give you an initial basis of your basic net worth. If you are a business owner a valuation of your interest n the business will be necessary to include in the calculation. Once your net worth is established it is imperative to sit with an estate planning attorney to determine how to preserve your assets

When you sit with your estate planning attorney make sure you bring with you your net worth documentation so that the planner may review the assets to determine what else may be included in the calculations. That will make sure all information is available to make the best plan for you and your family ensuring the assets you worked hard to obtain will be able to be there for your children.

The estate planning attorney will explain the various options for you. They will start talking about different trust vehicles that may fit your needs. Listen carefully and understand certain trusts will divest you as the earner of this income of control of the assets. Others will allow you to maintain control but may lose certain benefits to you. Each individual’s circumstance is extremely specific so meet with your planner to best determine your need and the right planning to protect your assets as well as ensure your family is able to enjoy what you have worked hard to attain rather than the US government.

Todd Engel
[email protected]
http://www.engelatty.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddengel

The Importance of CLE

The Importance of CLE

I am on my way to attend the Heckerling Institute put on by the University of Miami School of Law. I will be spending the week in Orlando ( I know, hate me if you must but that’s where they decided to put it) for the next five days learning about Estate Planning, and Trusts for sophviagraticated individuals. I am fascinated by what they will state given the current market situation. I  am really excited to bring back what I learn to my clients and my practice.

In New York, lawyers are required to take 24 hours of Continuing Legal Education, (CLE) every two years. This was enacted so that the public could be sure that attorneys kept up to date on the practice of law. Prior to this regulation, there would be lawyers who would graduate law school and never take another continuing education course until they retired. I believe that is a disservice to my clients and in fact routinely have taken almost double my required hours.  Why would I go to that trouble? Here are five reasons, in no particular order.

1.       KEEP UP TO DATE ON THE LAW: The law is ever changing and evolving.  There are new laws being passed by the State Legislature or Congress that effects your practice. CLE offers the best way to know what is happening and to be able to apply it to your practice.

2.       EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE: CLE  offers an attoney to expand his or her knowledge not only in the practice area  that he or she is specializing in, but in different areas that he or she may not have  considered before. It is a great way to expand your niche.

3.       PICK THE EXPERT’S BRAIN: People who teach CLE courses usually have developed a specialty  that allows them to advise the rest of the bar. Use that opportunity to your advantage. If you have a difficult probate issue and are at a probate CLE, ask the question. Taking advantage of the opportunity presented to you is not overstepping, it is good business sense.

4.       YOU CAN NEVER LEARN TOO MUCH: My father once told me when I was deciding about going to law school, the one thing that they can never take away from you is your education. Go  to seminars. Learn what you can so  you have knowledge. It can never be taken from you and you never know when you’ll need it!

5.       NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING. When you go to CLE courses, take the advantage of meeting people. You never know where a referral may come from. You never know what benefit you will gain from that new connection. Every time you go to a CLE you represent yourself and your practice.

This is why I feel CLE is so important. I will continue to attend CLE events and make sure I gain the benefits available to me.

Todd Engel

[email protected]

Engel Law Offices

7222 E. Genesee Street

Fayetteville, NY 13066

Twitter: www.twitter.com/toddengel

Some more about me and my practice

Welcome to my blog! I want to thank you for taking the time to learn about me and the services that Engel Law Offices can provide you in developing and protecting your wealth. It is important for you to know how I got to where I am in order for me to be able to guide and assist you in developing and protecting your assets for future generations.

I am a third generation lawyer practicing in Fayetteville, NY, just outside of Syracuse. I have a solo practice focused on business development, estate planning, commercial litigation and equine law. In other words my practice is geared to wealth development and protection for yourself and future generations. I have developed this niche with one focus in mind: listening and responding to your needs.

A graduate of Syracuse University and Syracuse University College of Law, I have developed a practice that is singularly focused on meeting your needs from beginning to end. You will work with me directly and my focus is solely on making sure your goals are met, whether that is with your business or your estate. I want to make sure that you maximize your ability to grow your small business and make sure that once you have, the proper estate plan is in place. Engel Law Offices is committed to wealth development and protection. I look forward to working with you.

My grandfather, S. Sanford Engel, practiced law in Syracuse starting in 1931. He had a general practice, focusing on criminal defense until his death in 1966. He was well regarded throughout the Central New York community for his legal ability. Developing the ability to listen to his clients was a cornerstone to his practice, something that was passed down to my father, and then to me.

My father, Richard Engel, began his practice in 1961 with the Appellate Division, Fourth Department where he was a confidential law clerk. In 1966, he returned to Syracuse and practiced for the next 42 years. He specialized in civil and commercial litigation turning towards estate planning, corporate representation and equine law in order to meet the needs of his growing clientele. He taught me the values of developing a strong client relationship and being an effective representative for your clients needs and desires. Since 1977, he owned thoroughbred race horses, developing a national reputation as an equine advocate.

Today, I am the managing attorney of Engel Law Offices. Our practice is committed to working with you and your company in developing plans for maximizing and preserving your wealth. That goal is achieved through planning for your new business venture and ensuring that whatever business you are starting is legally secure and the best business plan is drafted for you. We will be there for your needs and should litigation be necessary, Engel Law Offices has successfully tried cases to verdict throughout New York State and will work hard on your behalf.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you in this blog. Each week I will write on a different topic, whether it is business development, corporate, estate planning or equine law, I hope you will find it interesting and informative.