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Wills an important component of estate plans

Many residents of New York recognize the importance of planning ahead in their lives -- for instance, planning ahead for retirement. However, being prepared for disability or death, which can happen at any time, is often ignored. A couple of tips may help with putting together estate plans, including wills, that meet the needs of those who create them.

The most important document to prepare as part of an estate plan is the will, which provides instructions regarding where property will go when the owner of the property passes away. Another essential document is the power of attorney. This document explains who will handle finances and tasks such as paying the utilities and going through the mail in the event of one's disability.

Then, there are three important documents related to health care. One is a health care proxy, which allows for the appointment of a party who will make health care-related decisions on one's behalf if necessary. The living will is also important, as it provides guidance regarding health care. Finally, a HIPAA release is essential for authorizing the disclosure of health information to another party as necessary.

Death is generally not a comfortable topic, which is why drafting wills and other important estate planning documents is not a priority for many. However, because death is unavoidable, it only makes sense to plan for it. An attorney in the state of New York can help with putting together a comprehensive estate plan that best reflects one's desires long term.

Source: mytwintiers.com, "Money Smart Week: The Five Documents You Need When Estate", Michelle Ross, April 24, 2017

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