What does it mean to plan an estate?
Though popular, several people don’t know what it means to plan an estate. Estate planning is more than drafting a will. Plans made to ensure that your assets are well managed, you debts and due taxes are paid, and your properties are transferred to the right beneficiaries can be regarded as an estate plan.
This plan is often done when the estate owner is alive and it comes into effect upon his or her death or incapacitation. There exist several misconceptions surrounding estate planning. Aside from the misconception that an estate plan is all about drafting a will, some people believe that an estate plan only comes into effect upon the death of the estate owner. This is not true. Individuals can create an estate plan that takes care of their healthcare, finances, etc., when incapacitated. Incapacitation can be as a result of an accident, old age, sickness like dementia.
Elements of an estate plan
There are a few elements of an estate plan but we’ll be looking at one of the most important of them.
Here is one of the most important elements of this plan. A will is a document that holds crucial information regarding your estate. Though important, a will is just a cog in a wheel as far as estate planning is concerned.
In this document, you are to state the names of the persons who you wish to transfer your properties to. For instance, if your wish is for your younger brother to inherit your car, you are to state it in this document. In this document, you are to list your assets, and how you want them to be distributed and managed.
A will also contains the name of your estate executor and information regarding your burial arrangements. If you want to be buried in a certain location, if you want to be cremated, you are to state it in this document.
Who is an estate executor?
An estate executor, also regarded as an estate administrator, is chosen by an estate owner to ensure that his or her wishes is honored. This individual has lots of duties. It is the duty of the estate owner to ensure that all unpaid taxes and due debts are paid. If such debts and due taxes weren’t stated in the will, it is the duty of this individual to locate them and do the needful. This can be done alone or with the assistance of an estate planning attorney.
An estate executor must be approved by the court before he or she can begin the assigned tasks. If you don’t have a will or you failed to choose an estate executor, the court will choose one for you. Selection is not done at random. The selected individual is usually someone close to the family.
During the probate process, the estate executor is the one who will appear and speak on behalf of the estate owner. It is also the duty of this individual to tender the deceased’s will to the surrogate court in New York.
Estate planning Attorney
Due to the nature of an estate plan, and how complicated it can be, you may need the help of an estate planning attorney when planning your estate. An estate planning attorney is an expert in the estate planning process. You stand to benefit a lot if you contact one when planning your estate. They are experienced, familiar with loopholes in the estate planning process, they know the court processes well, have important resources at their disposal, and can offer you the best advice when you need one.
Estate planning mistakes exist. Sometimes these mistakes alter the intent of the estate owner regarding his or her estate. The main purpose of an estate plan is to mirror the wishes or intentions of the estate owner, an estate plan that doesn’t do this has failed. To avoid unnecessary mistakes it is best you contact a professional. Contact us, and we will provide you with the best New York estate planning attorney for your estate plan.