Many New York residents do not think about drafting a will until after they experience their first major life change, such as the birth of a child, the opening of a new business or the purchase of a home. When they do finally sit down to prepare one, they often overlook important key items.
Most wills include a primary beneficiary to inherit the testator's assets. However, some people fail to name a secondary beneficiary in the event that the primary beneficiary predeceases the testator. People should also keep in mind the age and the ability to manage the assets of any beneficiaries they may choose to list. Next, the will should include what happens to any pets that are still living. A caregiver and a secondary caregiver should be named. Some assets can also be put aside to ensure that the pet can be cared for.
When it comes to the actual assets, personal items, even if they have no monetary value, should be listed in the will. This can prevent any fighting among beneficiaries. Digital assets, such as domain names and online accounts, should also be included in the will along with important information about social media accounts. Finally, those who are listed as guardians and trustees for minor children should be kept up to date to ensure that they receive proper care.
Preparing a comprehensive estate plan can be difficult and time consuming. However, it should be considered a priority in the event that the person becomes incapacitated or dies. An estate planning attorney can suggest documents in addition to a basic will that might be appropriate for a client's particular family and financial circumstances.