Some people in New York might have procrastinated on creating an estate plan. It can be a complex and emotionally difficult process, but some people may be prompted by a milestone, such as marriage or the birth of a child, to do so.
The first step in creating an estate plan is to learn about the basics. Next, people should make a list of all their assets and liabilities. They should think about their objectives and identify what roles might be part of the estate plan, including an executor, guardians for children and more. They might also consider what types of documents they will need for the estate plan, such as a will, a trust and a healthcare power of attorney. People should also review their insurance coverage and make sure it is sufficient, particularly if they have a family to protect.
It may be a good idea to talk to an attorney about the plan and whether any revisions need to be made. Next, the documents themselves should be created. Finally, people should plan to review the documents annually or after any major changes in their life or in tax laws.
There are a number of advantages to working with an attorney on an estate plan. An attorney may be able to help ensure that documents are prepared accurately, which reduces the chances that they will be misunderstood or challenged. An attorney may also be able to help explain options the person might be unaware of. For example, many people may think that trusts are only for high-income families to preserve wealth. However, they can have many other uses. Trusts can have a trustee to manage distributions for an irresponsible family member or help a loved one with special needs without interfering with any benefits that a person receives, among other uses.