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Estate planning protects one's valuable assets in New York

People typically are focused in their efforts to obtain more money or more possessions in order to have a good quality of life in New York. However, they often neglect to think beyond their own lives and pay little attention to what will happen to these valuable assets once they die. This is particularly true for young people, who naturally feel invincible and don't think they'll have to worry about death for several decades. However, death can strike at any time, and having a well-thought-out estate plan can ensure that a person's assets end up in the right hands when death comes.

It is wise, for instance, to talk to one's family members about how his or her financial portfolio looks. This portfolio may include investments and bank accounts, for example. It may help to put a transfer on death, or TOD, on one's accounts so that they immediately go to a designated beneficiary instead of ending up in the lengthy probate process as well.

It also helps to give one's children trading authorization, or the ability to enter orders for one's accounts. A parent additionally can allow a child to serve as power of attorney when necessary. Furthermore, it might be expedient to establish an account for funeral costs, which the children can use upon a parent's death, in addition to naming children as beneficiaries on one's retirement accounts.

If a person fails to take the proper steps to safeguard his or her personal assets in the event that he or she dies, the State of New York may have to decide how these items ultimately will be distributed. The outcome of the probate process very well may not be in the best interest of family members who are left behind to deal with the complex process. For this and other reasons, estate planning is vital for a family's continued well-being.

Source: wgntv.com, Your Money Matters: Estate planning tips, No author, Feb. 24, 2014

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