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Begin new year with estate planning in New York

Most people are embracing life in the New Year. Many don't necessarily know how much longer they will live, but a number of them remain unprepared in the event that they do end up dying sooner than expected. This is particularly true for young people who view death as being potentially decades away, when something as sudden as a New York car accident could end up taking their lives. One potentially wise resolution for 2014 is to participate in estate planning.

An estate plan is designed to protect a person and his or her family in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated or dies. When incapacitation strikes a person, it is wise to have designated a person to assume control over one's healthcare decisions as well as property and financial matters. In addition, those who have young children would benefit a designated guardian to care for the children if they were to die.

When one's assets are substantial, probate may have to get involved if no estate plan is in place for one's heirs. In addition, an estate plan may have to be updated when major life events occur, such as a birth, death or divorce. If information is outdated, it is possible to fix this now, but it might be impossible to do so later.

Estate planning, including will execution, allows a person to have a sense of peace regarding the fact that one's heirs will be taken care of after the testator dies. Assets such as real property and money could be distributed to the proper beneficiaries in a manner so that the heirs do not have to deal with the costly and time-consuming process of probate. In addition, if the person becomes incapacitated, his or her healthcare wishes would be upheld if a healthcare proxy has been executed. Each person has a right to seek his or her family's best interests by preparing for an unknown future through the legal avenue of estate planning in New York.

Source: lakeconews.com, Estate Planning: An important new year's resolution, Dennis Fordham, Jan. 4, 2014

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