An estate plan may give a testator more control over his or her assets after death. However, New York residents should know that without good communication, an estate plan could lead to fights between family members. A disorganized plan could also make it difficult for estate holders preserve wealth for future generations.
Business owners should include a succession plan as part of their estate plans. This is because one cannot assume that a spouse or child will want to take over the company when the current owner passes on. Furthermore, it may be necessary to split ownership and management duties among two or more people. It is important to know that a business may be worth less if there is uncertainty over who is in control after the current owner passes away.
An estate plan should be reviewed periodically to ensure that it still meets the needs of the testator. It may also need to be revised to account for life events or changes to the tax code. Taking the time to go through plan documents with a professional may make it easier to understand what those documents do and whether they need to be updated.
The use of wills, trusts or other estate planning tools may make it possible for an individual to carry out his or her final wishes. These documents may also provide a way for parents to appoint guardians for minor children or otherwise provide for surviving family. An attorney may be able to help draft an estate plan or review any documents that may already exist.