When we talk about estate planning, many people immediately associate it with the ultra-rich. However, contrary to popular belief, anyone can benefit from having an estate plan no matter what their net worth is. According to Forbes, only 42% of the adults in the United States currently have an estate plan such as a living trust or a will.
While end-of-life planning can be depressing and seem morbid, it is essential to protect you, your assets, and your loved ones after you die. If you haven’t started drafting your estate planning documents yet, consider the following reasons why it is essential to talk to an estate law attorney as soon as possible to get the process started:
If a person dies without an estate plan, the matter of distribution of assets is passed on to the courts who handle everything from the distribution of the property, the dissolution of the business, and the guardianship of the children. The process is known as probate, and it can get seriously complicated and expensive. By preparing the documentation in advance, you can save your family and loved ones from numerous complications and legal issues after your death.
Keep Your Children from Ending Up in Child Protective Services
It might be unpleasant to think about your death, but it is essential to take some time and consider what would happen to your children if you suddenly died. Where will they end up? Who will take care of them?
If you don’t have an estate plan that clearly mentions a guardian that you have chosen, your children will end up with Child Protective Services, while the courts decide the best candidate to be their legal guardians. The process can take a long time, and your kids could end up with someone who would be your last choice for a guardian. Staying with protective services for a long time can also have a negative emotional impact on your child during a very vulnerable time in their life.
Not everyone cares about what happens to their wealth and assets after they have passed. However, not leaving an estate plan can result in huge disputes between family members regarding who gets what. This can create strong feelings of ill will between relatives and even break up families. By planning your estate documents, you save your family from making difficult decisions and eliminate the risk of any disputes by making the decision for them.
Get Legal Advice from Leading Estate Lawyers In New York
One of the best ways to avoid complications with your estate after your death is to hire an experienced estate lawyer to draw up the correct documents for you.
Ledwidge & Associates P.C. offers the services of leading estate law attorney Queens, estate law attorney Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, and the Bronx. We can help you protect your assets from exorbitant inheritance tax and ensure that your loved ones will be well taken care of through living wills and detailed estate planning documents.
While most people in New York may have heard of living wills, it may not be clear exactly what they are and how they differ from other wills. While a person’s regular will discusses how their assets are to be handled after their death, a living will, by contrast, deals with major health care decisions while the person is still living.
Living wills are legal documents through which people can outline what care and treatment they are willing to receive in the event they become incapacitated and no longer able to make decisions on their own. These wills allow a selected proxy to make decisions regarding treatment on behalf of the incapacitated person according to the living will’s provisions.
Medical advancements have brought many life-sustaining treatments that can be used to prolong life, but not everyone wants to use them. By writing a living will and carefully selecting the proxy, people can ensure that they will only receive the type of treatment that they desire in the event of incapacity. They are just as important for young people to consider having as they are for the elderly, as young people can also become incapacitated due to an accident or serious and unexpected illness.
While a person’s spouse may be named as the person’s health care proxy, it is important to discuss the person’s wishes as to care to make certain that the spouse agrees and is willing to do as the living will directs in the event catastrophe occurs. It can be equally important to select an alternate in case the first choice is unable or unwilling to perform his or her duties if the time comes.