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The importance of a will under New York law

Although most of us dread thinking about our mortality, the fact remains that one day we will all eventually move on and leave other family members behind. Even if you don't own much property or assets, taking the time to create a will before you pass can save your family members time and money. It may prevent long-standing animosities between family members from forming.

In New York, a will is simply a document created by you, the testator, for the benefit of others, called beneficiaries. Generally, a will is created with the help of an attorney who will assist you in developing an estate plan that may include trusts and other powers of attorneys. However, in cases where individuals have few assets and properties to bequeath, a will may be sufficient to convey those items to the appropriate beneficiaries.

Currently under New York law, a person who dies without a will is considered "intestate". In those cases, the state will determine the division of your property and assets, as well as their proportions, amongst your surviving family members. If you die intestate and you are married, then your spouse will inherit your entire estate. If you pass away intestate and are married with children, your spouse will automatically get $50,000 and then half of the remaining balance of your estate. Your children will then get the other half of the estate. If you die intestate with without a surviving spouse, then your estate will be divided equally amongst your children.

As you can see, what New York State thinks is an appropriate distribution schedule may not necessarily align with how you would distribute your estate amongst your family. That is precisely why drafting a will now is so vital.

Although based in Rochester, our law firm has been assisting clients throughout much of New York State with their estate planning needs for over 50 years. We realize that many people fail to form wills simply because they fear hefty legal fees from simple consultations with an attorney. That is why our law firm uses a-flat-fee-structure. That way, you know right up front which services we can provide for you and how much they cost. We believe that transparency in our billing practices allows us to provide you with more compassionate, personalized and professional estate planning assistance. We look forward to helping you preserve your legacy.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
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