Estate plans are simply collections of documents that spell out people’s wishes in the event of their deaths. Wills are among the most important documents to include in estate plans. However, other documents that are often overlooked, such as the power of attorney, are just as essential to create in New York.
The power of attorney allows another person to act on one’s behalf when one cannot make important financial decisions — for instance, in the event of incapacitation. After all, even simple financial tasks, such as making a mortgage payment, can be difficult in this situation. It is especially wise for spouses to have powers of attorney if they have their own pots of money rather than using joint bank accounts.
Besides having a last will and testament and a power of attorney in place, having a living will is also important. Living wills spell out which medical treatments physicians may withhold or provide in the event that individuals cannot communicate their wishes. Potential treatments include ventilation, hydration, resuscitation and artificial nutrition.
Many families put estate planning on the back burner because they simply do not want to think about the possibility of falling seriously ill or dying. In other cases, they may feel that they simply do not have time to dedicate to developing their estate plans. The reality, though, is that death is inevitable, so it only makes sense to be prepared. An attorney in New York can help clients put together wills and other estate planning documents that will ultimately meet the needs and wishes of themselves and their loved ones.
Source: forbes.com, “More Than Half Of Americans Don’t Have These Essential Estate Documents, Do You?“, Zach Conway, Jan. 26, 2018