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Wills, trusts and other essential estate planning documents

Estate planning is an exercise that reminds many people in New York of their mortality. That causes many to procrastinate, deciding that wills  and other estate planning  measures can be put off for another day down the line. However, having an up-to-date estate plan can provide peace of mind, particularly since no one knows when an accident or other tragedy may disrupt their lives.

A properly crafted estate plan can ensure that property will go to those to whom it was intended, while the absence of a will means that the deceased's property will be distributed according to the state's laws of intestacy.  Apart from a will, some people decide to set up a revocable trust. This planning device serves a purpose similar to a will, but is a way to avoid probate, costly court proceedings and emotional stress for surviving loved ones and heirs. Furthermore, it preserves estate privacy.

A durable power of attorney can help address circumstances in the event of a debilitating injury or illness. It is a legal document that gives a designated person the power to handle finances and make financial decisions. The same person or someone else can be appointed to make health and medical decisions at a time when the person granting the power is unable to do . This document is called a medical power of attorney or health care surrogate.

With the advice and guidance of an experienced New York estate planning attorney, anybody can draft an estate plan that could even include a living will. This document indicate the individual's wishes and preferences when it comes to life-prolonging medical treatment. Those with established wills and other estate plans can also utilize the skills of an attorney to review the documents from time to time to ensure they remain current.

Source: tcpalm.com, "Everyday estate planning needs certain documents", Robert D. Schwartz, April 11, 2018

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