There are at least three documents to become familiar with when planning your estate in New York. Documentation is needed to ensure that your property and belongings are transferred to the right people after death. These documents make the work easier for you, your estate planner, attorney and anyone else who is involved in your life.
Power of attorney
Power of attorney is a document that allows you to name someone to act on your behalf if you’re mentally incapacitated and cannot make decisions on your own. This document must be signed while you are mentally sound.
Your will determines what is done with your estate upon your death and lists the beneficiaries that will receive your assets. It can be typed or handwritten. Writing a will is not the last step, though, because it must be proved as authentic. In most states, you have to sign the document and have it witnessed by one or more people. The requirements to make a valid will are different in different states.
Most people consider getting a living trust when they consider their estate planning and wills. A living trust is an arrangement between the trustee, the grantor and the beneficiary The grantor orders the trustee to distribute his or her assets to one or more beneficiaries. The grantor is given full control of the trust while still alive.
Making your final preparations
The process of planning your estate begins with choosing the right documents. Two people with similar assets may need different forms to fill out. Consider the complexity of your estate, your current health status, the types of family members you have and other factors when choosing your documents.