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May 2016 Archives

Estate pitfalls to avoid

In many cases, the executor named under a New York testator's will has little or no prior experience fulfilling this role. Therefore, it isn't uncommon for such a person to make mistakes while trying to carry out an individual's last wishes. First, the executor may forget to receive the necessary probate court approvals. Then, all potential heirs must be notified of the testator's death whether or not they are listed as beneficiaries in the will.

The importance of beneficiary designations

It is important to update wills and trusts to ensure that they are still appropriate and relevant based on a person's circumstances and the laws. However, New York residents should not forget that beneficiary designations also need to be updated as people's lives and situations change.

Using software or pre-printed estate planning forms

With the proliferation of estate planning software programs and preprinted forms, some New Yorkers consider preparing their estate planning documents without professional help. There are important reasons why this is not always a good idea.

The challenge of closing accounts

Losing a loved one is never easy. You can be emotionally distraught and struggling to hold it together, but still have to handle the funeral and burial arrangements. The last thing you need is to explain to unsympathetic or inattentive customer service representatives why you need to close a credit card account and exactly why they can't speak to the actual account holder.