People in New York generally do not feel comfortable talking about death. For this reason, many people — both old and young — still have not created wills. However, producing wills and other estate planning documents is critical for ensuring that one’s assets will end up with those whom the benefactor intends.
According to research, a little over 40 percent of people throughout the United States have developed estate planning documents explaining what should happen to their belongings once they die. However, this percentage was as high as 51 percent in 2005, so the number of people planning their estates appears to be declining. A couple of reasons that most people may not be quick to create estate plans is that the process seems complicated or costly.
The truth is that failure to create a will can actually lead to further complications and costs for a person’s surviving family members in the future. After all, if someone does not put together a will before he or she passes away, the state will have to determine an estate plan for this individual. The problem is that state laws take a cookie-cutter approach to estate planning, so the state’s estate plan for a deceased individual may not necessarily be in alignment with what the decedent would have wanted.
In the same way, parents who have minor children would be wise to create wills explaining who should become the guardians of their children if they die while their children are still young. Otherwise, the state will dictate this, and the outcome may not match their wishes. Fortunately, an attorney in New York can help people to draft wills that reflect their desires and family members’ best interests in the years ahead.