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Estate planning mistakes that many people make

Many New York residents have a difficult time thinking about dying. However, failing to plan for what happens after passing can leave heirs and other surviving friends and family members with a lot of questions to answer. It could also lead to squabbles between siblings or others over how assets should be transferred or shared. For example, a beneficiary designation trumps any language in a will or trust.

However, if different parties are named in different documents, it could lead to a legal challenge. Those who have been divorced or have children from multiple marriages may want to update their estate planning documents regularly. This may prevent a former spouse from being a beneficiary or accidentally neglecting a child or loved one.

One of the biggest mistakes to avoid is not keeping information organized. An executor or other designated party should be able to find passwords, bank statements and other documents with ease. Tools are available that allow a person to keep their accounts in one spot online. It is important to evaluate these tools before using them to minimize the chance of the master account being hacked or otherwise accessed without authorization.

Proper estate planning can make it easier to prevent family disputes or other problems after passing. While some issues may not be possible to anticipate, an attorney could help a client find solutions for common scenarios. Ideally, an estate plan will be reviewed on a regular basis, and this may be done with or without the assistance of legal counsel. If necessary, a legal professional can act as the executor of an individual's estate.

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