That Estate planning belongs to the rich and extremely wealthy is an old myth that needs to be thrown away. Often, people believe that estate planning only benefits the extremely wealth, but this is so far from the truth. The reality, however, is that you need an estate plan no matter how much property you have. It is important you note that estate planning is for everyone, the rich and the poor. It doesn’t matter the value of your estate. If you fail to plan your estate, you won’t have a say over who inherits that precious asset of yours. It could be a painting, a sculpture, or anything that is of value to you. So you don’t necessarily have to be as wealthy as Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates before you consider planning your estate.
Estate planning document anyone should consider.
A living Will
Whether you decide to set up a medical power of attorney or not, it is best that you contact an attorney and create a living will. Despite what its name may imply, a living will is related to your medical care. This important legal document clearly states which medical treatments you would prefer and that which you wouldn’t prefer to keep you alive.
The list is exhaustive and addresses topics like resuscitation, dialysis, palliative care, including organ donation. As you make choice regarding your future medical care, it is best that you talk about your wishes with your doctor including your loved ones. You can decide to alter your medical directives at any given time. However, ensure that you discard all the copies of the previous directives.
A trust is another important estate planning document. This legal document allows you to take assets you own and place them into the ownership of a trust you set up while alive. The trust is the owner of your assets and managed them while you are alive. Upon your death, the trustee (the individual you select to manage the trust) shares the assets placed in the trust to the designated beneficiaries.
A living trust is private and isn’t subjected to probate. For this reason, a competent attorney will advise you to set up a living trust in order to bypass the difficult, time-consuming, and expensive probate process.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney is another must-have estate planning document. This document allows the estate owner to select an individual (agent or attorney-in-fact) whose job is to make crucial legal and financial decisions on his behalf in the event of incapacitation. The individual chosen can decided to invest the principal’s money and make other sensible financial moves. Failure to appoint a power of attorney will give the court the right to do so.
Health care power of attorney
Just like a power of attorney, a health care power of attorney is a legal document that gives an individual the legal right to make important health care decisions on your behalf when you become incapacitated.
If you fail to set up a heath care power of attorney and you become incapacitated along the way, the court will choose an individual who will make those important health care decisions on your behalf. The individual is often someone close to you.
Letter of Intent
A letter of intent is used to convey instructions, request, including crucial personal or financial information that isn’t in your will. It is also used to specify how you want certain things to be done. For instance, you may decide to indicate how you want to be buried in your letter of intent. Worthy to note is that, you don’t need the help of an attorney to draft this document, as it is not legally binding like a will.
Update your will regularly
From time to time, check your will to see if it meets with all your current heart desires. Birth of a new baby, new marriages, divorce, etc., may influence a change to your choice of beneficiary, and as such you should duly apply such changes.
You should always consider your family and the asset you have. The truth is, the more the number of family you cater for, the more consideration for what you make your of your estate plan. If you have large family, you might should consider a more robust estate plan. Consider the following; If you are divorced, have children in past relationships, have a more than one spouse, you need to create a proper estate plan.
Do you need an Estate Planning lawyer?
An estate plan is best created with the help of an estate planning attorney. Our estate planning lawyer aren’t only experienced; they are versed in the estate laws of New York. These professionals will ensure that your estate is planned according to the laws of New York and according to your wishes.