A common misconception is that estate planning in New York is only for those who are famous and rich. The truth is that all individuals who have assets may benefit from creating wills that explain how these possessions are to be distributed when they pass away. Such assets can include a house, a savings account or a 401(k) account.
The stakes remain high when it comes to estate planning. During the next three or four decades, a whopping $30 trillion worth of nonfinancial and financial assets are anticipated to move from the hands of baby boomers to their loved ones. Even for those who plan to leave their property to their children, they may want to take specific precautions to ensure that the children do not waste it, as not everybody is a good money manager.
For heirs who might not necessarily be good with money, creating a trust rather than a will may be beneficial. An asset owner can structure a trust in various ways and use it to dictate when certain assets will pass to his or her beneficiaries. For instance, perhaps the assets will not reach the beneficiaries until they are certain ages. The trust can also spell out how the money will be used -- for example, stipulating that it only be used for necessities such as medical or education costs.
Research shows that almost 75 percent of Americans believe that estate planning, including creating wills, is confusing. In addition, just 40 percent possess wills, and only 17 percent have trusts. An attorney in New York can help with creating wills, trusts and other estate plan components to ensure that asset owners are protecting both themselves and their loved ones properly.
Source: cnbc.com, "How to start thinking about an estate plan", Sharon Epperson and Jessica Dickler, Nov. 21, 2017