Based on the current pandemic, it is very clear that we cannot predict when a tragedy might happen. Should your family be faced with a loss, you’ll want to make sure all assets go where you or they would like, and that your loved ones are taken care of properly.
If you don’t make these decisions for yourself, they may be made for your family when you’re no longer around. When it comes to your family’s future, it’s important to be proactive and prepared. Here’s what you need to know about the estate planning process in New York.
- What Is Included in an Estate Plan
There are a number of documents that constitute an Estate plan in New York, some of which you may have heard of before. These include:
- Will. This is a document that will state how you want to distribute your assets after you die.
- Living Will. This document sets forth the medical care you wish to receive should you become seriously ill, and under what circumstances, if you are unable to communicate those wishes later on.
- Health Care Proxy. A health care proxy identifies the person whom you want to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated and cannot make them yourself at the time.
- Trust. This is an arrangement that identifies a person (trustee) whom you want to control your property and assets.
- Power of Attorney. This document empowers someone with the legal authority to handle certain matters for you, such as your financial affairs. You can set a limited task for this person to handle, or make their authority very broad over legal and financial matters.
- Life Insurance. When you purchase life insurance, the insurance company will pay out a lump sum of money to your beneficiary once you die.
- How to Avoid Probate
Probate is the legal court process during which a deceased person’s assets are legally transferred to the people who inherit them. Most individuals want to avoid probate court proceedings, as they can be costly and time-consuming.
To avoid probate, it’s essential to have a living trust set up in your estate plan, as we listed above. Your trust will allow your trustee to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries and keep your property out of probate court. An estate planning attorney at our firm can help you with this process.
- Estate Planning Is an Ongoing Process
It’s important to remember that since many things change over time, it’s important to reevaluate your situation and your assets. This way, your final estate plan is the most updated and well planned out for the changes that may occur during your lifetime.
We can help you safeguard your family’s future during times of uncertainty. Our estate planning attorneys are here to provide guidance so you can be confident that your family’s future is protected. We can be reached 24/7, and we offer virtual consultations and services while the self-quarantine continues during the coronavirus pandemic.
Contact Wisselman, Harounian & Associates to (516) 406-8500 to schedule your free virtual case evaluation.