As estate planning attorneys, we’re well acquainted with people’s reluctance (or sometimes outright refusal) to discuss the end of life. Nobody likes to think about the inevitability of their passing and leaving loved ones behind—and it’s understandable. Life is filled with joyous moments and events that we don’t want to miss. Travel, graduation, birthdays, marriage, children—we want to be a part of it all.
And it’s not just celebratory events that keep us from letting mortality enter our thoughts. Day to day happenings can also absorb our time and attention. Dental appointments, grocery shopping, soccer practice, car payments—on any given day, life gives us more than enough to fret and fuss over.
The reality is, however, that life eventually comes to an end, and when it does, we no longer have a say over what happens to the people and things we’ve left behind.
Estate planning attorneys NYC are here to help
Even with knowledge of the fact that they won’t be around forever, many people still put off planning for the inevitable. They think it will create more worries and more stress for them, but actually an estate planning attorney in New York would get your affairs in order for you and relieve you of any anxieties you may have about what will happen to your finances and assets in the future. More importantly, your family will have the assurance that they are abiding by your wishes without the stress of sorting through you estate themselves.
Questions for your estate planning attorney NYC
Many people can feel overwhelmed by the thought of meeting with an estate planning attorney and doubt whether they even need to plan their estate at all. However, it’s important to consider that without an estate plan, a probate would take place and your affairs would be managed by a probate attorney who may not provide the best administration of your finances and assets.
In hopes of helping people understand a bit more about estate planning and encouraging them to get in touch with an estate planning attorney, here are some of the most common questions people have about estate planning that keep them from making this most vital preparation for the future:
1. Am I at an age where I need to start thinking about estate planning?
This is a prevalent inquiry among people who are unfamiliar with the function and value of estate planning in New York. It is not just the elderly who need to get their finances and assets planned out. Although it is uncomfortable to think about, the nature of life is such that people pass away at any age and in any condition—young or old, ill or healthy.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see that anyone can benefit from a consultation with an estate planning attorney. From a college student investing in a start up to a married couple expecting their first child, it’s never too late or too early to start preparing for whatever the future may bring.
2. Isn’t an estate plan only for rich people?
The word “estate”, for many people, is often associated with the wealthy—people who own a large home, expensive cars, etc. However, anyone with finances and assets (whether large or small) has an estate and would profit from having its distribution prepared by an estate planning lawyer.
Moreover, it’s important to note that estate planning goes beyond the management of material possessions. It also involves the appointment of a person you can trust to make decisions for you should you become unable to do so while you are still alive, as well as the designation of a guardian if you have children who are minors at the time of your passing.
3. Isn’t it expensive to hire an estate planning lawyer?
Oftentimes, people are reluctant to spend money on something that they won’t see come to fruition, like an estate plan. Unlike buying the latest smartphone or a new pair of shoes, you pay money up front, but you don’t get to see the physical product. But unlike transient purchases, estate planning is a vital expense to ensure the peace of mind and financial stability of your loved ones when you are gone.
Another way to look at it is that without the security of an estate plan, you are inadvertently creating further expenses and emotional strain for your family and loved ones. In the absence of estate planning, there are court hearings, probate settlements, creditor settlements, and other issues that will need to be resolved without you there. Ultimately, it is the well-being of your loved ones that you are investing in when securing an estate plan.
4. Do I need an estate planning attorney if I only have one child?
This is another question that stems from the idea that estate planning in New York is about “who gets what.” An estate document goes beyond simply appointing beneficiaries, such as a single child. It establishes how and when your estate will be proportioned and by whom. This is an important point if your child is a minor at the time of your passing as they will be unable to administer finances and assets on their own.
In addition to this, estate planning lets you decide who will take guardianship of your child. You want to leave your child in the hands of someone you trust and who shares your values. For many parents, this is the most important part of their estate plan.
5. Will creating a trust mean I lose control over my estate?
There’s a common misconception that establishing an estate plan leaves you with no further say in what happens to your financial assets. In reality, estate planning provides you with more authority over your capital resources. You have control over the management of your money while you are alive as well as when you are no longer here. It is actually the failure to develop a trust that leaves you with little or no authority over your own estate.
6. Isn’t it a hassle to develop an estate plan?
Many people don’t want to start the process of developing an estate plan simply because they are under the impression that it will create unnecessary worry and stress. The reality is quite the opposite, by taking the time to get in touch with an estate planning attorney and beginning a plan for a trust, you’ll have less to worry about and more peace of mind because you are taking control and making decisions for the care of your estate and your loved ones while you still can.