When it comes to planning for the future, estate planning is just as critical of a process as retirement planning is. However, although drafting wills is certainly an important part of the estate planning process, it involves so much more. Other essential documents make up a well-thought-out estate plan as well, and they ideally should be integrated to ascertain that they all work together in New York.

For example, the purpose of a will overlaps with the purpose of a trust. A trust is a critical component of an estate plan because it helps with ensuring that a person’s assets end up in the intended hands after he or she passes away. A will typically leaves nearly every asset to a trust so that all of the assets are subject to unified administration as part of the trust.

Another important component of an estate plan is a power of attorney. This tool has many of the same purposes as a living trust does. For instance, both tools can help to provide for somebody’s personal care, assist the individual in remaining at home and support the person’s dependents in the event of his or her incapacitation. Both tools can also make lifetime gifts with the goal of helping the individual to qualify for needs-based benefits from the government.

Creating wills and other estate planning documents can certainly be overwhelming no matter how many or few assets a person has. However, an estate planning attorney can assist an asset owner in navigating the process with confidence. The attorney’s aim is to make sure that the asset owner’s estate plan ultimately reflects his or her wishes and best interests in New York.