Thinking about the possibility of death is not exactly a joyous process for many individuals. This is partly why many have failed to create wills and other estate planning documents. However, creating an estate plan is paramount for anyone who has assets, no matter how few or many. A few tips may help with navigating the estate planning process in New York.
A 2016 survey indicated that only 44 percent of adults in the United States have wills. However, a will is one of the most important components of any estate plan. This legal document essentially spells out how assets should be distributed when the person who owns these assets passes away.
Besides a last will and testament, having a living will and a health care power of attorney is also important. These documents spell out how far doctors should go in trying to prolong one’s life as well as who should make health care-related decisions on one’s behalf when necessary. Having the correct beneficiaries listed on life insurance policies and retirement accounts is especially critical, too, since they may hold the majority of asset owners’ savings.
Without a will, the loved ones of an asset owner may not end up receiving the assets intended for them. However, with wills, asset owners can have a peace of mind knowing that their assets will end up in the right hands and remain protected according to their wishes when they pass away. An attorney in New York can help with the process of creating a detailed, comprehensive will that reflects one’s wishes long term.
Source: marketwatch.com, “Giving your money away when you die: 10 questions to ask“, Jonathan Clements, Oct. 5, 2017