New York residents should make sure that they have an estate plan consisting of a will and a durable power of attorney. Those who aren't sure of how to create those or other documents should ask for help in doing so. Ideally, individuals who have a complicated estate should create their plan with the help of an attorney. While this may cost more, it will generally mean that a plan is created properly.
Putting assets into a living trust may eliminate the need to go through probate. However, this only happens if the trust is properly funded while a person is still alive. Assets can also be placed in the trust through a pour-over will. Beneficiary designations should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they are correct. It may be best to review them after significant life events such as a marriage or divorce.
Information that an executor or another representative would need after an individual passes should be kept in a secure location. It will ideally contain the location of a will, trust or other important documents. It could also contain passwords to unlock digital accounts. If the plan or other important documents were created with the help of a professional, that person's contact information should be listed as well.
Those who have experienced the loss of a loved one know how hard it can be for a family. Therefore, they can make their own passing a little easier by creating a thorough estate plan. Doing so may make it easier to plan the funeral and settle the estate in a timely manner. An attorney may help those who need assistance in creating or reviewing plan documents. Furthermore, an attorney may defend the estate against any legal challenges to an estate plan document.