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

Estate planning in New York involves making a list of assets

With 2014 in full swing in New York, a person may be working hard to get his or her life in order by trying to keep his or her New Year’s resolutions. This may include actually working out, becoming more committed to one’s spouse or trying to kick a bad spending habit. Individuals would be wise to add estate planning to such a list, as engaging in this critical task helps them to get their finances in order and be prepared for the future in the event that they end up being incapacitated or dying.

An important step in estate planning is to list one’s liabilities and assets. The asset list is more complete if it features the name of the company or bank tied to the details about the asset, as well as the location of the asset. In addition, if there are any account numbers associated with the asset, it would be preferable to list this information also.

An estate plan should also include the type of account associated with an asset, as well as updated balance information. Any insurance policies that a person has may be added to this list. The list is essential because beneficiaries and/or the estate executor can more easily identify an individual’s estate when the time comes, as all of the important data has been kept in one place.

Engaging in New York estate planning is an important decision that could save family members the grief caused by not knowing whether a deceased loved one had any assets that have not been accounted for. It certainly is wise to keep a list of all of one’s assets in a safe location and make sure that another family member or trusted acquaintance knows where it is. This can ensure that all of the assets are accessible to the appropriate individuals when needed.

Source:, All About Money: Start with an estate plan when getting your financial house in order , Deborah J. Doucet, Jan. 3, 2014

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:, Estate Planning: An important new year’s resolution , Dennis Fordham, Jan. 4, 2014

Estate planning in New York leads to helpful will, living trust

People naturally don’t like to think about death. They often prefer to enjoy their lives and to simply live in the moment. However, if a person becomes incapacitated or ends up dying and hasn’t made the proper legal preparations, this can cause grief for family members who are already mourning the loss of a loved one. Several steps can help a person to engage in estate planning in New York so as to protect their assets and to protect their family members in the aftermath of his or her death.

A will typically determines which beneficiaries will receive certain assets upon a person’s death. The will can also authorize the person’s surviving spouse to control who inherits assets such as retirement accounts or life insurance, for example. However, if the accounts have a different beneficiary designation than that contained in a will, the beneficiary named on the specific accounts normally takes precedence in entitlement to that asset. It is wise for the individual’s title documents, which prove ownership of assets, to be in line with the individual’s estate plan.

Meanwhile, a living trust can be helpful if someone later becomes incapacitated. A person who is designated as a power of attorney has the ability to use the incapacitated person’s checking account money to pay for any required expenses. A designated trustee also has the responsibility of overseeing the individual’s financial accounts and must help the person to stay up-to-date on his or her personal expenses.

Estate planning in New York allows a person to be prepared for a situation in which he or she cannot physically handle his or her financial affairs or even ends up passing away. Without a will, the court will end up deciding how that person’s valuables will be distributed through the probate process, and the outcome may not be satisfactory to the surviving loved ones. If someone becomes incapacitated and hasn’t designated a power of attorney, this may cause conflict with other family members who have differing opinions about a proper course of action. Well-thought-out estate planning is designed to prevent these issues.

Source:  Lake County News, Estate Planning: Harmonizing the entire estate plan , Dennis Fordham, Dec. 28, 2013