Death is part of life, yet many people prefer to skirt the topic of dying and focus more on living. Although discussing a loved one’s future passing typically is not the topic of choice at the dinner table for many individuals, failing to talk about this important subject may cause family members more grief than necessary if the loved one were to die unexpectedly in New York. Being prepared by participating in thorough estate planning, including the appropriate will execution , will prevent this from occurring and provide a person’s family members with security.
A common myth is that estate planning is only for the millionaire. In fact, more than 40 percent of baby boomers lack wills. However, people of all economic backgrounds can benefit from drafting and executing wills because most people own some type of property.
As a result, more people may wish to be proactive about protecting and distributing this property to the intended people, with minimal tax consequences. A will not only helps to protect an individual’s property, but it can also designate who will become the guardians of young children who are left behind if both parents die. The lack of a will means that issues of guardianship and ownership of remaining property may be decided by the state through the process of probate.
With proper will execution, a person can feel sure that his or her possessions will go to the right family members or organizations upon his or her death. Leaving the state to make a decision regarding who will get one’s property or care for one’s children in the event of his or her death is risky because the state may make choices that the person would not have wanted. Knowing and applying estate planning laws in New York allows an individual today to control who will receive his or her assets in the future.
Source: The Scranton Times-Tribune, Do You Need Estate Planning? , No author, Nov. 17, 2013