It is not uncommon for people in Upstate New York to put estate planning on the back burner. Some procrastinate, while others do not want to consider their mortality, and still others might do estate planning without professional guidance. Seeking legal counsel can prevent the many basic mistakes made by people who do not understand the intricacies of trusts, wills, powers of attorney and other estate planning documents.
Advisers say many people do not realize that estate planning does not only deal with death but also plays a role in the event of an incapacitating accident or illness. Second to not having any plans in place, failure to establish durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney is a significant mistake made by many. Estate planning is not only for older people; anyone older than 18 is an adult, and if that person should die without a will, his or her parents will have no say in what happens to their child’s assets.
Scheduling reviews of estate planning is crucial. Life changes such as births, marriages, divorce and other changes might be necessary to have trusts and wills remain current. Anyone with underage children will also be wise to appoint suitable and trustworthy guardians for the children. Even that must be revisited to ensure the chosen guardians remain available and appropriate because they also age, die and relocate.
Even though estate planning might seem a daunting task, an experienced attorney, along with financial advisers, can simplify the process. A New York lawyer can explain what needs to be done and the pros and cons of establishing trusts as well as the process to properly titling assets. Legal counsel can also minimize tax implications and explain the need to keep loved ones informed of estate plans and where the will and other documents will be when the day comes that they need directions in dealing with a loved one’s assets.