You may have many competent friends. You may even know something about estate planning yourself. However, these kinds of decisions may require the input of an advisor.
Setting up an estate plan will probably require careful consideration of your entire family's situation. Your parents' health, your finances and even your digital assets may factor in. Do your friends have all the information they need to give you useful advice?
Even online forms that seem specific to New York may not provide the right tools for your needs. In fact, there could be issues in your case that would make it advantageous for you to pursue strategies you may not even know to research.
One aspect that many people fail to think about is the way that their assets might affect them during their lifetime. Your holdings, or those of your parents, could become a significant issue should you have to pay for nursing home care, for example. If you think this could be a problem in the future, you would probably benefit from estate planning complements, such as Medicare planning, asset protection or health care trusts.
There is another element you may want to consider: Maintenance. Even if you have the knowledge and skill to create an estate plan, you probably do not have the time to keep yourself informed of all potentially relevant changes in New York law. Federal laws may also have an effect on your plan.
Unless you are willing to devote several hours a week to the review and interpretation of bills and case law, you may want to retain an advisor. This will probably make it much easier on you when major life changes or routine maintenance requires you to update your plan and your documents.
Estate planning is a complicated, uncertain process, but it often becomes easier and more predictable when it is done correctly. With the right perspective, you would be able to look at your assets and liabilities in a clearer light.