This is the first post in a series which will discuss the need for a proper estate plan in Long Island, New York. I have decided to write on this issue due to the fact that it is far too common for someone to pass away without a last will and testament or a broader estate plan. Such an occurrence can leave the deceased’s heirs having to contend with a great deal of difficulty. The goal of my coming articles is to stress the importance of having your affairs in order, to provide information which will help with understanding how to get those affairs in order, and to provide information which will assist with the selection of a lawyer. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
I will be addressing a number of topics over my coming articles. The topics which I will address include:
- The consequences of dying in New York without a final will
- Preparing a last will and testament
- Utilizing a living trust as part of your estate planning
- The need for a power of attorney
I have chosen to address these topics for multiple reasons. First, if one passes in New York without a final will then they will be considered as having died “intestate.” Under this scenario, the deceased’s estate will be divided in a way that has been pre-determined by the state. This is true even if such a distribution winds up being inconsistent with the deceased’s final wishes. Second, when preparing a last will and testament there are several factors which must be considered. Third, a living trust can provide an individual with a great deal of flexibility as to how their affairs are handled. It can also help their heirs to avoid the probate process altogether. Finally, a power of attorney can be necessary to deal with financial and medical emergencies which arise.
One point I cannot stress enough is that you should not view having an estate plan as something that “can wait.” With the aging of the baby boom generation, there is likely to be an increase in the number of people who pass without having arrangements in place. This will lead to increased infighting amongst heirs and other heartache. By having your affairs in order, you can ensure that such events do not occur.
If you are in need of assistance then contact my office to speak with a Long Island estate planning lawyer. I take pride in providing a high level of service and we are ready to assist you. Call today to speak with an attorney. Our office also serves Kings County residents in Brooklyn, residents of Queens, those in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as people in other New York areas.