Parents often focus heavily on planning for retirement and for their children's college education. However, estate planning is often placed on the back burner, although creating wills is essential for protecting one's assets and the long-term financial well-being of one's children. It's wise to ask several questions when putting together an estate plan in New York.
First, it's important for people to pinpoint who should benefit from their wealth. They may also wish to donate all of their wealth or a portion of it to charity. Specific bequests to particular charitable organizations or individuals can be spelled out in the will.
In addition, it's wise for individuals to specify whether they want to transfer some wealth to beneficiaries during their lifetimes or upon their deaths. If there are situations that demand specialized planning, it's also important to address these in an estate plan. These special situations may include having a child with special needs or having previous marriages.
In a will, a person can name a personal representative or executor who'll assume the responsibility of carrying out the testator's wishes after probate confirms that the will is valid. Without this document or other estate planning measures, people's assets may not be distributed according to their wishes when they die. Wills are especially important for parents of young children because a guardian can be nominated for minors to ensure their care. It is within a person's rights in New York to protect their own interests as well as those of their loved ones through proactive estate planning.
Source: montgomeryadvertiser.com, "Estate planning is a priority", Katye Delashaw, Aug. 27, 2014