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Wills, trusts important for young people to create

It is natural for young people to feel as though they have a lot of life in front of them. However, the reality is that a person's life can be tragically cut short for a variety of reasons, ranging from a fatal vehicle accident to a sudden illness. For this reason, it simply makes sense for people in New York to have estate plans, including wills and trusts, in place.

A will is typically an essential part of any estate plan. It is particularly essential for parents who have minor children because guardians can be designated for their children should both parents pass away. If the parents die without wills, then the state will have to decide on a guardian. Unfortunately, the party appointed as a guardian for a deceased person's children may not match what the parent may have wanted.

It is also beneficial to set up a trust for underage children. With a trust, children cannot directly inherit any property or money until they are adults. The trust essentially holds the money and property for the benefit of the children, and the trust can specify how the assets are to be managed and utilized. A designated trustee will be responsible for following the instructions. If both parents die and no trust is in place, a court will appoint somebody to manage the assets for the benefit of the children.

New York estate planning is typically not a favorite activity. However, wills and trusts are designed to ensure that one's wishes regarding assets and guardians for minors are honored in the event of one's death. This give one peace of mind now and in the long term. It can also prevent infighting and strife among one's surviving family members.

Source: USA Today, "How to prepare financially for your death (no matter how young you are)", Barbara Marquand, Jan. 16, 2017

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