Creating an estate plan is important for New York residents and others regardless of their net worth. This is because an estate plan allows a person to do more than just dictate where a house, car or bank account goes after passing on.
Estate plans are critical for parents
The use of estate-planning documents, such as wills or trusts, allows parents to name a guardian for their children. If you were to die intestate, a judge may decide who cares for your child, and this person may not be someone you trust to provide for your son or daughter. It is worth noting that if your child’s other parent is still alive after you pass, that person will typically take custody of your children. However, if the other biological parent isn’t around, you can generally choose any adult of sound mind to serve as a guardian.
Plan for incapacitation
An estate plan can help to ensure that your affairs are managed properly on your behalf. Adding a financial agent means that someone can pay your bills, sell property or take other steps to prevent past-due bills, repossessions or other negative consequences. A medical agent can communicate with doctors on your behalf if you aren’t able to do so yourself.
If you have reached the age of majority, you are strongly encouraged to start thinking about your estate-planning needs. Even if you don’t have a lot of stuff, it can still be useful if you have kids or want to be proactive about your medical care. If you already have an estate plan, it’s generally a good idea to review it at least once a year. Doing so may help you fix issues before any problems arise.