For many New York residents, estate planning is a relatively straightforward process. In most cases, individuals will need to make sure that their documents are easy to access and review their beneficiary designations every so often. However, people who have business interests or complicated estates may need more help managing their affairs. Estates may also be harder to manage if an individual experiences cognitive decline.
However, there are many questions that a person can ask a financial adviser or estate planning professional prior to partnering with them. For example, it can be worthwhile to ask about how cognitive decline is measured and what happens if a person loses his or her mental capabilities. Professionals should also be able to help a person choose a trusted contact as well as make it easier to organize and manage assets. In some cases, it may be necessary for family members to become involved with the asset management process.
Financial and estate planning professionals should outline the extent to which they will be involved. It is also a good idea to ask how often a plan will be reviewed once it is created. Individuals should ask to see references for anyone with whom they are thinking about working. This is worthwhile whether a consultant works alone or as part of a larger group.
The loss of a loved one may be an emotionally charged event for an individual. However, by creating an estate plan prior to passing, a person may be able to ease the burden that surviving loved ones may feel. By drafting a will or trust, it may be possible to let others know where documents are located or how assets should be transferred. In some cases, it may be possible to avoid probate with a trust.