Putting together an estate plan may not be on many people's to-do lists this busy holiday season. The reality, though, is that creating wills and trusts is wise for estate owners who wish to keep their assets protected long term. For this reason, estate planning might be a smart way to kick start the New Year. Here is a glimpse at a couple of tips that may help estate owners to make the most of this process in New York.
First, although wills can spell out exactly who should receive certain assets when the asset owners pass away, wills do not prevent deceased people's estates from going through the probate process. Unfortunately, probate can be expensive and time consuming. Fortunately, estates do not have to go through probate if their owners created revocable trusts, not just wills, when they were alive. Therefore, those who create trusts will essentially save their loved ones a great deal of both time and money down the road when they pass away.
Second, it is a wise idea for estate owners to avoid creating estate plans on their own. People may naturally be tempted to look for free estate planning forms online. However, the problem with these forms is that they are cookie cutter, so they may not consider each individual's particular situation. Also, these generic forms do not account for requirements or laws specific to each person's state.
This is why it may behoove people in New York who are interested in estate planning to consult with an attorney before embarking on the process of creating wills and trusts. An attorney can provide the direction needed to create an estate plan that meets one's unique needs. The attorney's ultimate goal is to make sure that a client's assets end up in the intended hands in the future and to minimize the client's estate tax liability.