Putting an effective estate plan into place is a prudent step for any New York resident to take, but it may be even more important for those who own a business. Probate courts are not the places where most entrepreneurs would want questions about their estate resolved, and probate judges may sometimes not be as knowledgeable as they could be about complex intangible business assets such as intellectual property.
Adults in New York who do not have an estate plan may want to consider making one. Most people include a will in an estate plan. A will is a document that indicates how an individual wants their assets distributed after their death, and it must be signed by two witnesses. Without a will, the state will decide what happens to the assets.
New York residents who have prepared a will may know that a divorce, a remarriage or the death of a spouse will likely necessitate an evaluation of that document. In some circumstances, a will cannot be simply changed but must be completely revoked in order to be considered valid by a probate court.
A will is a formal document that allows individuals to determine how their possessions will be distributed upon death. It requires very specific actions to be taken to prove the validity of its contents. Failure to meet those requirements may thwart the maker's intentions.
The task of choosing an executor may seem daunting to New York residents who are planning their estates. Knowing what an executor does may help people identify who may best fill that role.
New York individuals who have gone through the process of establishing a will and trust may be interested to find out that a large portion of their estate may not be impacted by these documents. While a trust or will may name certain beneficiaries for passing assets in these documents, beneficiary designation forms affect a number of different types of assets.
New York residents may be interested in ensuring that their assets are transferred to heirs as they intended. Having the frequently avoided inheritance conversation may be one of the best ways for securing heirs' understanding of how property is to be divided. UBS estimates that $40 trillion in personal wealth will be passed to heirs by the year 2050.
When New York musician Lou Reed died in 2013, he left a 34-page will behind. For some people, a will is sufficient, but for someone of Reed's financial worth and ongoing income, a revocable trust would have been a more appropriate approach to estate planning.
Putting final wishes and bequests in writing through the form of an official will is one of the best ways to ensure that a New York resident's estate is properly dsitributed. However, there are many reasons a court will invalidate a will after death. There are common mistakes that people make which allow heirs to contest the will and force the courts to make changes that the deceased may not have wanted.
Last month, in the wake of the death of actor Mickey Rooney, speculation began about the degree to which the late actor's will would be accepted by his family. The actor's estate was not very large, totalling only about $18,000. However, because everything was specified to go to one of the actor's stepsons, rather than his estranged wife or any of his biological children, a dispute about the will execution seemed likely anyway.