Many people think the only individuals who need a last will and testament are those with significant wealth, but this is simply flawed thinking. An estate plan need not be extensive or elaborate to be valid and applicable. Any individual with clear assets or even personal property needs to leave a valid directive in the event of an untimely or obviously eventual passing. It is important for everyone to be prepared, and there are a few things for New York residents to consider when making an estate plan.
One of the first concerns will be transferring real estate to a designated individual or individuals. Spouses will automatically maintain property ownership when a marital partner passes, but single individuals often want to pass on certain assets to certain people. It’s vital to designate these individuals in advance to avoid a probate exposure issue because the entire family can be impacted with an unexpected court order.
Another concern for younger parents is the care of their children. It is important to choose the best person available for guardianship for a couple of reasons. Some minor dependent children will inherit assets that the guardian will have control over, which could be an estate planning mistake. It is often best to allow for necessary expenses until the children reach adulthood before the total assets can be released, including real estate.
Another issue is avoiding the probate process completely if possible. This might be accomplished with the assistance of an experienced New York estate law attorney. A legal professional may advise a client and craft a solid last will and testament that addresses all inheritance concerns. This could also include the establishment of trusts that can protect the entire family from tax obligations or potential creditor claims against the estate when probate is opened.