Having conversations with adult children about financial and other family matters is as important as having those “birds and bees” talks with young children or adolescents. Avoiding it is much easier, and authorities in the estate-planning field say a significant percentage of people nationwide, including New York, neglect to draft wills. Many of them only have these talks after medical emergencies — but that might be too late.
An example is a man in his seventies who was scheduled for a surgical procedure. He told his children to find a note containing everything they needed to know in the drawer of his desk. They laughed it off, thinking he would home within a few days, but that did not happen. Unanticipated complications developed, and he went into a coma before he passed away in the hospital.
His children were grateful for his foresight when they found the note exactly where he said it would be. It contained detailed information about his bank accounts, warranty documents and sales receipts, safe deposit box inventory, instructions about distributing items that were special to him. It also let them know where they could find his will.
Their father’s prudence was much appreciated by his children who could grieve his death without having to hunt down the documents that recorded his final wishes or explore to find his bank and investment accounts and other pertinent information. While drafting wills and establishing trusts might seem daunting endeavors, help is available. An experienced New York estate planning attorney can assess the client’s unique circumstances and provide valuable support and guidance every step along the way.