It's difficult to consider our own mortality or the potential of becoming debilitated. To make sure that your estate is divided in accordance with your wishes and that those closest to you receive the support and security you have worked so hard to provide them with, making a plan for these scenarios is crucial.
Making a will that clearly spells out how your assets are to be distributed is the only way to ensure that your preferences for your estate are acknowledged and carried out after your passing.
Making a will is a crucial step in estate planning because it guarantees that assets and property are left to the people you want. A will must be properly designed and executed in order to comply with a number of legislative requirements in order for it to be recognized as legal in New York. Executing powers of attorney, which permit another person (an agent) to act on the individual's behalf, is a part of estate preparation that can be assisted by a New York trusts and estates lawyer. Such agreements are enforceable in New York and should be carefully designed and completed with the assistance of a trusts and estates attorney to minimize any potential negative consequences.
What are Wills and What Purpose do they Serve?
A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that disposes of certain assets owned by a person after that person’s death. The will does not dispose of all assets that a person owns. The will only disposes of assets that are titled in the person’s sole individual name at the time of death. Other assets, such as property owned in joint names with right of survivorship with another person at the time of death, assets with a designated beneficiary (such as life insurance proceeds, retirement plans, pensions, profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans or IRAs) and assets in trusts pass outside of the Will to the person who is the joint owner, designated beneficiary or beneficiary of the trust.
Do I Need a Will?
Many people answer this question with a “no” for reasons they feel (or convince themselves) are valid or because they feel that the preparation of a will can be easily put off until some (usually unspecified) time in the future.
The fact of the matter is that for different reasons almost everyone should have a last will and testament setting forth the person’s current wishes and desires with regard to the disposition of their estate. The will should also appoint a fiduciary to manage and administer the estate as well as a guardian for any minor children. It should be prepared by and executed under the supervision of an experienced attorney because failure to follow statutory requirements can invalidate the will. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed under the terms of your state’s “intestate succession” laws. That means that your money and property could end up with family members you haven’t spoken to in years.
It is very important to give serious consideration to contacting an experienced attorney to have a will drafted. This attorney can assist you with preparing the will and guiding you in estate planning issues in order to ensure that your assets can be passed on to your loved ones in the most efficient manner and at the lowest cost, including the minimization of estate taxes. Also, an experienced attorney can assist you with updating your will as well to reflect major life events, such as a divorce, the birth of a child, or if you happen to move to another state.
Having a will prepared and/or updated by your attorney is not only the prudent and responsible thing to do, regardless of age or circumstance, but one that will leave you with peace of mind, before you remain at peace forever.
What is a Living Will?
A living will and a last will and testament are two completely different legal documents. A living will is the legal document used by a person to memorialize in writing what medical procedures he or she wants or does not want to have performed in order to extend life in the event that the person is suffering from a medical condition for which there is little or no chance of recovery. It is used as a guide for the person that you name as your health care agent to make health care and medical decisions for you.
Why Choose Tully Rinckey
The best method to create a final will and testament that precisely reflects your intentions for your estate and prevents difficulties in the probate process is to speak with a wills attorney who is familiar with New York's will laws. Tully Rinckey’s will lawyers have the experience required to explain the nuances and complexities of your individual situation and circumstances when it comes to drafting up your will.
Our New York Wills Attorneys are Ready to Assist You Today
The key to successful planning is taking action as soon as possible, while you’re still alert, aware, and healthy. We can help you develop an end-of-life care and estate plan that meets your needs and allows your loved ones to understand your wishes even if it gets to the point when you can no longer communicate with them.
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