Estate planning is an exercise that reminds many people in New York of their mortality. That causes many to procrastinate, deciding that wills and other estate planning measures can be put off for another day down the line. However, having an up-to-date estate plan can provide peace of mind, particularly since no one knows when an accident or other tragedy may disrupt their lives.
People in New York often question the need for estate planning, and many think it is only required for those with significant assets. However, establishing wills or trusts is the only way to ensure that assets are passed to chosen beneficiaries rather than those determined by the state. An estate plan can be will based or trust based.
Some people think estate planning is something to consider when they are older. However, they may not understand what will happen if they should die suddenly with no wills in place. The assets of any New York person who dies without a Last Will and Testament will be subject to the intestacy succession laws of the state.
In many ways, real life is entirely removed from what we see on TV and in the movies. For instance, the dramatized reading of wills in the movies is purely done to create drama because no law says a will must be read with all beneficiaries present. Upon the death of a New York resident, the estate attorney must determine whom to provide with copies of the will.
Estate planning is an essential part of every New York resident's financial future. Life is unpredictable, and unexpected deaths can leave chaos for the surviving family members of those without estate plans in place. Even those who have wills must review them from time to time.
Estate planning has changed significantly over the years. While creating joint wills was a common practice in years gone by, the practice is now discouraged. While New York State still allows joint wills, there are several reasons to explore other options with fewer disadvantages.
People in New York who have special needs children may be unsure of the options available to make sure the children are provided for if the parents should die. Special needs trusts are designed for this purpose and can be set up along with the drafting of wills and other estate planning documents. There are two types of special needs trusts -- one is funded with the beneficiary's own assets, and the other is funded by a parent or other third party.
New York families may not be aware of the importance of proper planning before a person becomes unable to handle certain financial and medical aspects of his or her life. Although such circumstances are typically associated with old age, an accident can incapacitate anybody at any time. Along with estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts, two other documents should be included in people's plans to protect their interests in case of such eventualities.
Many New York residents are currently considering executing estate plans. Others would rather have teeth pulled than even talk about the subject. Such hesitance is sometimes related to fear of discussing mortality, but it also often arises when there's confusion regarding estate laws or various documents, such as wills, powers of attorney or trusts.
Matters pertaining to estate planning often involve complex legal issues that may be difficult for the typical person to understand. In fact, even with a single category -- wills, for instance -- there may be various types of documents and possible reasons for choosing one over the other that someone well-versed in probate and estate administration would understand and be able to provide effective counsel to help simplify the process. Many people in New York are on the fence as to whether they should execute an estate plan. Others are ready to do so, but unsure where to turn for help.