The main element of estate planning is a Will, a living trust, living will, financial power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney. However, other important estate document can be created alongside these plans. Through estate plan, you can protect your estate from terrible losses when you can no longer manage it (probably due to incapacity) by appointing someone to manage it on your behalf. You can also guarantee yourself that only those who matter most to you will benefit from your wealth. Through estate planning also, you can decide the kind of healthcare you want even when you are in a vegetative state because your documents would be there to speak for you.
A will is invariably the most popular estate planning document and also the simplest. In fact, when some people think about estate planning, the first thing their mind goes to is a will. Formally called a Last Will and Testament, a Will should contain your last wishes concerning how you want your estate disbursed when you pass away. In it, you allocate specific assets to as many beneficiaries as you desire, naming them accordingly. You should also appoint an executor to carry out those wishes. If you have minors, you can name a guardian for them. However, Wills are not always sufficient for everyone. This brings us to living trusts.
A living trust is a kind of trust which can be altered or canceled at any time. For people who do not wish to put their loved ones through the stress and expenses of probate, they create trusts instead of a will. It also provides tax advantages and privacy, things you would not get from a will. A trust can also be used to hold assets for minors.
Living Will (Advance Healthcare Directive)
A living will, as the name denotes, is a will that only operates during one’s lifetime as opposed to a Last Will. A living will does not transfer assets, but is used to spell out your wishes concerning your end-of-life healthcare preferences. These may boil down to whether you would desire to be put on life support, offer your body for scientific experiment or organ donation, etc.
Financial power of attorney
In the event of incapacity, you definitely would need someone to be in charge of your financial responsibilities. You do not want just any member of your family to be in charge especially when they lack the financial know-how. In order to ensure that someone competent and of your choosing becomes the one to make financial decisions for you, name them by creating a financial power of attorney now. Your agent appointed has the legal authority to handle your finances and make decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. Do not be confused with the name. Your agent must not necessarily be an attorney or any legal professional whatsoever.
Medical power of attorney/Healthcare proxy
Like the financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney is used to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions in your stead when you are unable to make them yourself.
Advance healthcare directive
This document is also known as a living will but should not be mistaken for a last will. It is used to express your wishes for healthcare during serious health conditions like a terminal condition that leaves you in a vegetative state.
It could be tempting and perhaps less expensive to make estate plans all by yourself. The dangers lies in not creating the proper plans which would be fit to stand in New York. While it may not be bad engaging in steps involved in planning your estate, it is a bad idea to go do it all yourself without involving an estate planning attorney near you.
Contact an estate planning near you today.
When planning your estate, you may require the help of an expert. An estate planning attorney boast of the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to walk you through the estate planning process. With the assistance of the attorney, you will plan an estate that conforms to your wishes and the laws of your state. If you live in New York and you have finally decided to plan your estate but you need advice or assistance on how to get it done easily, you can contact us. We will provide you with the best estate planning attorney.
Do you stay in Brooklyn? Contact an estate lawyer near you, today.