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Wills: Seemingly insignificant steps are actually significant

When New York residents consider their estate planning, going the online route might seem simple and easy, but the consequences could be significant. The ease of the online process often makes people lose sight of the fact that each person's unique needs cannot be dealt with in once-size-fits-all wills and other estate planning documents. Seemingly insignificant issues, like storing estate planning documents safely and wisely, are significant.

Some financial advisers suggest making a "When I Die" file, stored in a secure location to guard against fire or theft, such as a safe deposit box. However, sharing the lock combination with those who will need access to the documents upon the testator's death is essential. If not, a court order will have to be obtained to open a safe deposit box.

Another step that can make life easier for grieving loved ones upon a person's death is to preplan end-of-life matters. This includes stating the choice of cremation or burial, along with the chosen casket or urn, to save close family members from the task at a difficult time. Another issue that is more significant than most people think is a list of passwords and the choice of where to store it. It is confidential, and using a secure app on which to store it is wiser than leaving it where it could be compromised.

Communication is crucial to ensure that the person's last wishes are carried out as desired. Wills and other estate documents may not be accessible if the information is not shared with a trusted person. To ensure that all those matters that are often regarded as insignificant are addressed appropriately, many individuals in New York seek the support and guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney.

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