For many New Yorkers, the creation of an estate plan is viewed as final with no changes necessary. Some might have taken a significant amount of time before finally crafting an estate plan to prepare for the future, but when they did they were fully prepared to leave it as is. However, major problems can arise if the document is not updated when changes to a person's life happen. Even with the most comprehensive strategies for estate planning are frequently insufficient because of a failure to update. There are several reasons why it is important to update an estate plan and having legal advice when doing so is critical.
A well-drafted estate plan should represent your wishes at the time you and your lawyer executed it. However, life can throw a lot of changes at you, and you may find that after a few years your plan no longer reflects your wishes.
New York State can be a hotbed for the art scene with many people collecting valuable items. Collectibles are not limited to artwork, however. Anything can rise in value based on its popularity and historic significance. That includes sports collectibles, coins, stamps, antiques and more. When drafting estate planning documents, it is imperative for the testator to be cognizant of these properties and to prepare accordingly. As with any asset and an estate plan, having legal guidance is crucial.
The main goal for many people when crafting an estate plan in New York is to cover all the bases and ensure the assets and properties go where the testator wants. This can mean many things and the strategies to achieve the desired ends are critical to the process. Understanding potential pitfalls is a sound way to avoid them. Paying attention to what industry experts see as risks is key. A recent survey says that there are three basic concerns with estate planning in 2019: family disputes, the fluctuating markets and changes to the tax code. For people preparing or updating their estate plan, these must be considered.
For single residents of New York, drafting estate planning documents might not be high on their list of priorities. While they might feel justified in avoiding the subject of the inevitability of the end of life and what will happen to their possessions, it is still a mistake for a variety of reasons. Even single people who do not have dependents should think about an estate plan. There are certain key aspects to an estate plan that anyone - not just those who are married, have a family or have significant assets - should understand before taking that vital step of creating the document.
New York residents who believe they have fulfilled the need to have an estate plan and simply leave the document as is without changing it are often making a mistake. With the inevitable changes in life, there are times that an estate plan is no longer as current and applicable to the circumstances as it was when drafting estate planning documents. Therefore, it is wise to think about life changes and act accordingly by updating an estate plan. Knowing when to do so is key.
When New Yorkers are preparing for the future by creating strategies for an estate plan, there are certain aspects of it that can be difficult. While it is known that everyone's life is finite and the end is unavoidable, it can be difficult to think about a time when end of life planning is needed. However, those who have strong feelings on end of life care must make certain their estate plan addresses their wishes for such a time. In these cases, an advanced medical directive is important. To understand how to craft the document properly, legal advice is a must.
When New Yorkers are thinking about setting up their estate plan, nearly everyone understands what a will is. Creating a will is relatively easy, regardless of the person's financial and personal situation. However, not all situations are simple and more complex situations will need more thought into the kind of estate plan that is needed. This is where a trust can be useful. Understanding when and why a trust is beneficial can help the decision-making process immensely.
For many New Yorkers, estate planning is not something they actively think about. It is an unfortunate reality that life is fleeting, and people can suddenly find themselves in need of these vital documents. Estate planning can ensure their assets are allocated as they wish, their family is protected, and other common issues are addressed. With the recent news stories of wealthy people who died without estate planning documents, it is imperative to be prepared for the future. Knowing the basics is fundamental.
New Yorkers who have a well-crafted estate plan are taking necessary steps to prepare for the future. While this is a relatively obvious need, many ignore it. Surprisingly, a significant portion of those who fail to create even a basic estate plan are people 55 and older. Having strategies for the long-term is critical and legal help is vital to accomplish this.