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Creating wills requires a few important steps

Estate planning in New York is often placed on the back burner when it comes to tackling daily responsibilities. However, creating wills and other estate plan documents is critical for protecting one's assets long term. A few tips may help with navigating the estate planning process effectively.

First, taking stock of all assets is critical. These assets include a home and any business shares owned. Collecting information regarding any outstanding debts is also important.

Then, an important part of planning an estate is for asset owners to identify people whom they trust to make sure that their wishes are executed once they are gone. One of these key individuals is an executor, the person who gathers an asset owner's assets and ensures that their distribution occurs according to the instructions provided in the will. For those with young children, naming a guardian in the will is also critical, as this person will take care of the children if the parents pass away unexpectedly. It is also possible to name a second guardian -- one whose sole purpose is to tend to the financial assets of the children -- although naming a single guardian is more typical in these situations.

Creating wills and other estate planning documents in New York can understandably be overwhelming due to the many aspects involved. However, without a proper estate plan, a person's assets may not end up in the intended hands when the individual passes away. An attorney can help with navigating the estate planning process so that one's best interests are protected long term.

Source: morningstar.com, "Get Your Estate Plan in Gear", Christine Benz, Dec. 15, 2017

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