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Estate planning in New York protects assets when one dies

When people hear the term "estate planning," they sometimes immediately tune it out, thinking that this activity is only necessary for the wealthy. However, people of all income levels in New York can benefit from developing a solid estate plan. Having one in place helps to guarantee that one's assets will end up in the proper hands upon his or her passing.

People naturally steer clear of talking about estate plans and wills because they prefer not to discuss the possibility of death. However, addressing this matter now will allow family members to avoid second guessing the deceased person's wishes later. A last will and testament is the cornerstone of many estate plans and allows a person to dictate where all of his or her assets will go when he or she dies.

Without a will, one's property may end up in undesirable hands because the state determines how the assets will be dispersed by applying a statute covering these circumstances. Moreover, a will allows a family with young children to name a guardian to care for the kids in the event that the parents die. A living trust is like a will but offers the added benefit of avoiding probate. With a will, a person's assets still have to go through probate before being distributed as designated in the document.

Estate planning in New York may not be an appealing activity for many people. Still, it does keep grieving family members from having to deal with administrative and financial difficulties caused by the lack of a will. Instead, assets such as bank accounts and property can go to the proper beneficiaries when the owner of the assets dies and the legalities of the estate are settled.

Source: tcpalm.com, Estate planning is important, regardless of the size of your estate, Robert Schwartz, Jan. 8, 2014

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