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Estate Planning Archives

What to do about digital assets in an estate plan

Even people in New York who have already created estate plans may not have taken their digital assets into account. When thinking about what they want to happen to their belongings after they die, people often forget things like online accounts, photographs, emails, subscriptions, and other items.

The importance of securely storing a will

When people in New York think about planning for the future, they may decide to make a will. A will is a legal document that reflects how people want their assets to be distributed after their death. It should be noted that even after a will is executed, it can be amended or revoked by the creator unless he or she does not have the capacity to do so. This is one reason why experts recommend keeping the will in a safe, secure place until it is needed.

Estate planning considerations for single parents

Single parents in New York may need to create an estate plan that ensures that their minor children are cared for if anything happens to them. Even if the child's other parent is alive and would most likely take custody of the child, parents should still name alternate guardians in the estate plan in case there is some reason the other parent cannot step in.

Family dynamics can impact estate planning

Family dynamics may be one of the most challenging issues to consider when creating an estate plan. Issues such as siblings who don't get along or heirs who have trouble managing money are not uncommon regardless of how much money a family has. However, there are ways that individuals in New York and across the country can address the unique needs that beneficiaries may have. For instance, it may be possible to use a trust to help a child manage his or her inheritance.

How to create an estate plan in a blended family

People in New York who have blended families may want to consider a trust instead of a will for estate planning purposes. A will that leaves everything to a spouse could result in the spouse later cutting out the children from the previous marriage. This may happen because of malice but not always. Over time, the spouse and stepchildren might fall out of touch. The spouse might even remarry.

Accounting for all assets in an estate plan

Any information that a New York resident stores online could be considered a digital asset. It is estimated that the average American has $55,000 in assets that are held online. At any given time, a person can have up to 100 or more accounts that are secured by a username and password. Examples of online properties include email accounts, bank accounts and social media profiles.

The role of a trust in an estate plan

Many New Yorkers might think that a will is a sufficient document for passing on assets to loved ones. However, a trust may be a better instrument in some situations. With a revocable trust, the creator has a lot of flexibility. An irrevocable trust gives the creator, or grantor, less control. However, this instrument may have uses not provided by a revocable trust.