Some New York residents might prefer to avoid thinking about death and what would happen to their assets if they should die. However, taking the time to establish a will can provide peace of mind because the individual will know that his or her assets will be distributed according to the directions set forth in the will. Other documents that usually form part of estate planning include health care and financial powers of attorney, and it could also include trusts of different kinds.
A will is a document that describes the testator's directions for the distribution of his or her assets upon death. Typically, included property could be vehicles, real estate, business holdings, personal property and money, which will go to those named in the will after payment of estate debts. A will can also be used to designate a guardian to take care of minor children.
A trust is an option that could hold personal property, real estate and other assets for beneficiaries. A living or revocable trust is established during the person's lifetime, and he or she could manage it or appoint a trustee to manage it. A testamentary or irrevocable trust can be created during the person's lifetime, but it cannot be changed, and it becomes effective only after his or her passing.
Drafting a will and other documents could be a daunting prospect, but help is available. An experienced estate planning attorney can explain the available options under New York law and draft a comprehensive estate plan in accordance with the client's wishes. A lawyer can also assist with revisions to ensure estate documents remain current.