For New York residents, the holidays present a time to gather with family to celebrate and give thanks. As generations, young and old, gather together this holiday season, situations may arise that lead family members to question an aging parent's or grandparent's mental capacity.
For New York parents with minor-aged children, the thought of not being around to raise their kids is often too painful to even contemplate. Forces beyond one's control, however, may result in the premature death of one or both parents. If the unthinkable happens, the majority of U.S. parents have not taken the proper and necessary steps to ensure for their children's future care and security.
This week, we've been discussing those documents essential to any comprehensive estate plan. We've discussed the importance of having a will as well as designating beneficiaries. We've also provided information related to the importance of establishing a living will and naming a durable power of attorney. Once an individual has taken the time to contemplate these issues and set up the corresponding directives, it's wise to ensure such information is organized, updated and readily accessible.
In this blog post, we'll continue to discuss those components that make up a comprehensive estate plan. In our last post we discussed how both a will and beneficiary designations can be used to pass along wealth and assets to loved ones and intended parties. In this post, we'll discuss estate planning documents that relate to one's health care and end of life decisions.
Despite the significance, many people fail to establish a comprehensive estate plan. In fact, according to a 2011 Harris Interactive Survey, only 43 percent of U.S. residents even have a will. For some, the process of contemplating death and the fate of loved ones left behind seems too difficult to bear. For others, the estate planning process may seem too overwhelming and complex.
The relationship between parent and child should be based on unconditional love. That being said, as parents and children age, their relationship often grows more complex and, at times, strained. Growing or grown children may struggle with personal issues or make life choices of which parents don't approve.
This past summer, gay rights proponents across the country celebrated as the U.S. Supreme Court chose to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. As a result, marriage is no longer legally defined as being solely between one man and one woman. With the overturning of DOMA come huge social, political and legal changes to how the rights and assets of same-sex couples are recognized and distributed.
Business owners are a special breed of individuals who often endure years of financial and personal sacrifice before finding success. For many, it's important that all those years of sacrifice mean something and that a family business continue to grow and thrive after their retirement and death.
When most people think about estate planning, a document known as a last will and testament comes to mind. While a will is certainly a central and essential component to any comprehensive estate plan, there are a number of other important estate planning documents that can provide numerous advantages, protections and benefits.
As with most things in life, people tend to have different views of what is and is not fair or just. Such is often the case when family members disagree about estate planning matters. When personal financial gain is at stake, personal opinions tend to be strong and can result in arguments and irreparable family rifts.
Few people are enthusiastic about matters related to estate planning. It's an inescapable reality, however, that each of us will one day pass on. The steps we take to prepare for that inevitability, can both positively and negatively impact the lives of those we leave behind.