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Wills, powers of attorney part of comprehensive estate plans

The thought of death or incapacity may naturally discourage people from wanting to focus on estate planning. However, being prepared for the inevitable by having an estate plan is of the utmost importance. New York estate plans, which typically include documents such as powers of attorney and wills, help people to ensure that their desires are honored in the future if they are ill, become incapacitated or pass away.

Estate plans are intended to be developed when people are of sound mind. Parents understandably may name their children as beneficiaries in a will and are naturally inclined to name one another as agents in the event of incapacity. However, it is important to also consider what would happen if the two end up divorcing. Another situation to address in an estate plan is what would happen if the two stay married but need help with tasks, such as paying bills, because they suffer from arthritis or Parkinson's disease and thus are unable to handle these tasks themselves.

It is essential to have a trustworthy person named in one's legal documents to assist in these types of situations. In this way, a person can make sure that his or her finances will be protected. When choosing a person to help in the event of incapacity, it is helpful to choose someone who is close by and who is okay with the added burden this may impose.

With well-thought-out estate plans, including documents such as wills and powers of attorney, people can make sure that their assets end up in the intended hands and that their health care and financial matters will be handled according to their wishes in the future. However, the process of putting together an estate plan can be complex, depending on a person's unique situation. Proper legal guidance can help people to effectively complete this process in New York.

Source: Forbes, "The Most Important Estate Planning Issue Boomers Need To Address", Kelley Long, May 8, 2016

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