Despite the fact that people often know it is important to plan for the future, many adults in New York do not have wills, trusts or other estate documents in place. There are many reasons why people put off making decisions about their estates: They may not want to think about death, there may be complicated family situations to consider, or they may just think they have more time to deal with the issue later. However, in an emergency situation, people may not have the plans in place they need to help their own peace of mind as well as that of their loved ones.
Even younger people with few assets and no children may want to think about key documents like powers of attorney in addition to writing out a will. These can help to ensure that a trusted person can manage health care or financial decisions if a person is incapacitated or passes away. In addition, an advance health care directive or living will can be a way to record important decisions about how a person wants to deal with critical medical developments.
Having a will and trusts in place can also be important. When people plan for how they want their assets to be distributed, they can help to save their loved ones time, money and the emotional burden of dealing with the estate. Trusts can be especially helpful for people with significant assets who want to have a greater amount of control over their distribution.
There are a number of documents that can help people develop a clear plan for the future, and these documents should be regularly updated to reflect current laws and family circumstances. An estate planning lawyer may help people develop wills, trusts and powers of attorney as part of an overall plan.