Many people in New York may currently be considering estate planning options to protect their assets and provide for their loved ones' futures. Some have procrastinated for quite some time but have been prompted to become more proactive after reading news stories about famous people who have died without wills in place, leaving family members and others squabbling over their possessions. Although no document is required by law since an estate plan is a highly customizable and individual compilation of documents, most people include final wills and testaments when they execute their plans.
If you choose not to sign a will, then your estate becomes intestate after you die. This means it will be administered through the probate process, and the court will decide how to distribute your assets. There is no guarantee that those you would have chosen as heirs will, in fact, be the ones who inherit your estate. Maintaining control over such decisions is the basic motive behind most people's decisions to include final wills in their estate plans.
You can cover any number of topics in a thoroughly executed will. Perhaps you want to designate someone as a legal guardian for your children. You may also wish to entrust decision-making authority regarding your medical care and/or finances to a particular person or people.
Generally speaking, the choice belongs entirely to estate owners themselves when it comes to what to include in their wills. It often helps to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to explore all options available before determining which ones best suit your goals. Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP serves clients throughout New York and surrounding regions regarding all aspects of the estate planning process.