For New Yorkers who are thinking about the future and their estate plan, sometimes the most basic questions are the most important to answer. Such issues as an unexpected death, an injury or illness that leaves a person incapacitated, what happens to children if both parents are gone unexpectedly, how to handle certain health issues if the person cannot make decisions on his or her own, and financial matters in the future are all essential elements that must be addressed in an estate plan. Having a fundamental grasp of these situations can avoid pain and hardship later.

An unexpected death is emotional, but it can also lead to financial problems. Certain documents like a will, a trust, insurance policies and financial records can help the family members who are left behind. Also, having these documents updated regularly is important. Incapacitation is a justified concern. This is where a power of attorney comes in. A power of attorney will let a loved one make all the decisions on the person’s behalf. It will encompass healthcare, property, financial matters and more.

Children under 18 who still need guardians will be a worrisome issue. If parents do not address this matter, the courts will do it. Parents must have a list of people who can care for their children if the worst happens and both die without warning. This is especially important with children who are younger. Being hospitalized and unable to express oneself can leave a person in limbo. Concerns surrounding whether to resuscitate a person or not and to take extreme steps in treatment will come to the forefront. Expressing wishes in detail for just such a circumstance can make sure those desires are carried out.

There are many different strategies that can be implemented to address the multiple issues that inevitably arise with estate planning. Failing to take care of this in an efficient and comprehensive manner is a mistake that is frequently made. It often ends up costing a great deal to people and their loved ones financially and personally. Planning for the future is key and an experienced legal professional can help.

Source: forbes.com, “5 Questions You Should Ask Your Spouse Today,” Mark Eghrari, July 26, 2017