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Wills: Begin estate planning early for peace of mind

Most New York residents recognize the importance of preparing end-of-life documents, but some may not know the steps they need to take to get started with estate planning. People who take the time to work through this process, including the preparation of wills, trusts and other legal documents, ensure that their loved ones will know how their affairs should be handled after their death. Following these steps earlier in life can ease a person's mind and make the process run smoothly.

Wills and trusts can be established upon reaching legal adulthood

People nationwide, including New York, may think that estate planning need not be considered until they are middle-aged. However, the best time to draft wills, trusts and other documents is as soon as they are legally regarded as adults after turning 18. Estate planning is not only for people with significant assets. Having a job and a vehicle might only be the start, with marriage, children and buying a home in the foreseeable future. Life is unpredictable, and having estate plans in place can provide peace of mind.

Wills: Different people can be named as guardians

When parents in upstate New York do estate planning, they might have questions about nominating guardians. Suppose someone who is the ideal person to be the guardian of a child is not good at managing finances. Likewise, the best choice for an estate guardian might not be suitable as a guardian of children. Although two different people may be named as guardians of a person and estate finances, specific questions must be asked before appointing them and finalizing wills.

Tips may help make process of creating wills more productive

Thinking about estate planning usually is not high on many individuals' to-do lists in New York. However, creating wills is critical for ensuring that their assets are protected down the road. Here are a few tips for making the most of the estate planning process this year.

The benefits of wills and trusts in estate planning

Many people in upstate New York may not understand that estate planning has various benefits while the testator is still alive. Although wills, which form a part of estate planning, ensure that the deceased person's wishes are honored, other aspects of the planning could deal with living plans. Careful planning can help an individual to accomplish several tasks. Including a revocable living trust or a will in estate planning allows a person to determine to whom he or she would like to pass property and assets upon his or her death.

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.

DIY wills and trusts may not be the best option

Sometimes, in certain circumstances, people in New York who have not engaged in estate planning choose to go with low-cost do-it-yourself options. Digital estate plans are easily accessible and promise to save attorney's fees. However, none of those digital wills and other related documents are designed to meet the unique needs of every individual who chooses this option.

Wills and trusts can show you care for those you leave behind

While some New York residents choose to show their love on Valentine's Day with roses and chocolates, estate planning advisers suggest different ways to express their care for those who will be left behind after their deaths. Establishing wills and trusts, if done with care, can save loved ones having to figure out what the deceased person's wishes were. Death can occur at any time, as underscored by the recent death of Kobe Bryant, and it is never too early to attend to estate planning.

Wills and trusts to provide for a special needs child

According to financial advisers, the sooner parents in New York and elsewhere learn about the special needs of their child, the sooner they can start planning to ensure the child's financial future is protected. Too many parents think this matter can be addressed in their wills. However, they may not realize that inheritance to cover the child's unique needs might disqualify the child from receiving government grants and benefits.

3 often-forgotten things that could be added to wills

Estate planning is something that many people in New York and elsewhere push to the back burner. However, even those who have their wills in place might have addressed property, money and children, but overlooked some things that could be included in their wills. Pet guardianship, digital assets and charitable contributions are all important concerns that can be addressed in a last will and testament. 

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