New York residents are strongly encouraged to have a will as part of their estate plan. In some cases, the will itself will be sufficient to accomplish a person's goals. However, there is a chance that more than just a will is necessary to create a proper estate plan. It is essential to understand that there are many different ways to transfer assets such as using a beneficiary designation or payable on death designation.
These assets will go directly to a beneficiary when a person passes, and they generally don't need to go through probate. Of course, those who only need a way to transfer assets and aren't worried about probate may meet their goals with a will alone. There are other issues that a person should consider when creating an estate plan. For instance, medical and financial power of attorney can help a person manage assets while alive but incapacitated.
Advance medical directives give a person the opportunity to determine the level of treatment that he or she receives. This may make it possible for a person to retain control over how his or her life ends. Ultimately, a will is a strong part of an estate plan. However, it is not the only piece of the puzzle that needs to be considered when creating that plan.
There are a multitude of strategies that an individual may consider when creating an estate plan. This may include the use of a will, living will or trust to exert control over assets while alive and after passing. Trusts may make it possible to protect assets from creditors or protect beneficiaries from their own poor decision-making habits. An attorney may be able to talk with an individual about the benefits of estate planning and how to create one.