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Wills, trusts important for young adults, too

When it comes to estate planning, the inclination of many younger couples is to think that it is pertinent only for older parties. However, young families who have children as well as mortgage payments are most likely prepared the least for the unanticipated death of a breadwinner or parent. Creating wills or trusts is therefore critical for adults of all ages in New York.

Creating a will is possible by first making a list of all assets that have to be distributed down the road. Then, determining who should get which assets when one dies is necessary. Naming a person to carry out these wishes is also paramount.

Once these decisions are made, meeting with an attorney to draw up a will is beneficial. Some couples may be tempted to try to create their own wills with do-it-yourself forms found online. However, if they end up making mistakes due to a lack of knowledge of the law, it may be too late to amend them by the time they are caught.

In some situations, choosing a revocable living trust may actually be more helpful than a will due to the many advantages of trusts. Wills have to go through probate, a procedure ordered by the court, before assets are distributed. However, with a revocable living trust where oneself is named as the trustee, a successor trustee can be named in the event of one's death. This successor will be able to avoid probate and thus have the power to carry all written instructions. An attorney in New York can provide guidance with creating wills or setting up trusts, depending on the situation.

Source: chicagotribune.com, "5 essential steps of estate planning", Terry Savage, May 8, 2017

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