A living will is a legal document that allows the creator to provide written instructions on how his or her health care should be managed in the event of incapacitation. Having a basic understanding of how these legal tools function is helpful both for those putting together an estate plan as well as those looking to administer a loved one's estate plan.
It is not uncommon for there to be differences of opinion in the administration of a will under New York law. Broad powers have been invested in the executor that is appointed under a will. However, with these powers come serious legal responsibilities. Failure to properly perform the duties may lead to legal action and in some cases personal financial responsibility. The probate court also has the power to remove an executor.
Music fans and pop culture enthusiasts in New York were likely shocked and saddened by the news of Prince's death, and some have begun speculating about what will happen to the late singer's estate while others still mourn the legendary star's passing. If Prince has a will, it has not yet been made public knowledge. This means his sister looks like the mostly likely candidate to inherit his fortune.
New York residents may want to consider who they will appoint under a power of attorney as part of their estate plan. This is the person who among other duties will deal with their finances if they are unable to do so as a result of becoming incapacitated. In some families, choosing such a person may lead to conflict. One woman was concerned after her 66-year-old father had a stroke and appointed his girlfriend as attorney-in-fact. The girlfriend told the daughter that she was also being left everything in his will.
New York residents who are preparing their estate plans should not neglect to value their artworks correctly. By and large, art does not produce any revenue until it is sold, and it can be difficult to place an accurate value on paintings and other works because the among will usually change in keeping with prevailing market conditions. However, failing to do so can result in a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service.
New Yorkers who have spent their lives working hard to amass wealth are often concerned about how to preserve it so it will benefit multiple family generations. Due to factors such as dividing assets between beneficiaries, the effect of risk and taxes with each successive generational transfer, family wealth can be depleted in as little as two or three generations.
Many New Yorkers have individual retirement accounts. They can be problematic for estate planning purposes as the IRS considers them to be income that the decedent would have otherwise received and thus in some cases taxable to the estate.
A New York resident who has a spouse and children might pay close attention to estate matters, especially in case of major changes to their financial or family situation. However, those who have never married may not worry as much about estate planning due to the fact that there aren't dependents. The reality is that anyone who has assets should think about creating an estate plan to ensure that their wishes are documented legally. Failing to do so could result in the court system having to follow the state laws of intestacy while absorbing some of those assets to cover its costs.
The administration of a wealthy person's estate in New York is a big undertaking. Executors must be aware of the current estate tax laws, and they must determine which IRS forms they are obligated to complete with the deceased person's final tax filing.
Naming an executor is one of the most important estate planning decisions that New York residents have to make. When someone is asked to serve as an executor of a testator's will, it is important for the person to understand the responsibilities that they might be taking on. If those who are asked feel that they are too disorganized or ignorant about financial matters, they might want to say no to being an executor.