As people in New York near retirement, they may naturally feel excited about having the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong ambitions during their golden years. However, it is also important that they plan for the unexpected — for example, sudden illnesses or death. Here is a look at how wills and other estate planning documents can help people to achieve this before they retire.
First, wills are legal documents where people can express their desires concerning the distribution of their property when they die. However, research shows that only four in 10 adults in the United States have prepared wills. This means that, for the majority of people, their states will end up dictating what will happen to their assets when they pass away.
It is also critical for people to put together powers of attorney as they age. This type of document gives a reliable friend or family member the authority to make decisions on a person’s behalf in the event that he or she becomes physically or mentally incapacitated. This trusted party can make financial, business and legal decisions for the incapacitated party.
Thinking about the possibility of death is not necessarily enjoyable, which is why many people in New York delay creating wills and other estate planning documents. However, failure to create an estate plan means that a person’s assets may end up in unintended hands. An attorney can guide an asset owner through the process of creating an estate plan that accurately communicates his or her wishes long term.