The events of the past couple of years have caused many New York residents to think about estate planning, particularly drafting a will. A will is a document that allows you to decide who gets your property after you pass away.
A will’s contents are kept confidential until after your death, at which point they become public, and your property is distributed to your heirs in accordance with your wishes. Having a will drafted by an experienced estate planning attorney is a simple process, and there are many benefits to having a will.
Avoiding the probate process
One of the biggest advantages to having a will is that you decide who gets your property, rather than the state of New York deciding according to the state’s probate laws. This means your property could potentially end up going to someone you do not choose.
Your property is distributed through an executor, which is someone you appoint to handle the property distribution after your death. Your executor does not need to be a family member; however, it should be someone you trust to oversee your estate and execute your desired wishes.
In addition to making sure your property is distributed according to the terms of your will, an executor handles paying off any debts and taking care of any outstanding tax obligations.
Protecting your children
If you are a parent, another major benefit to having a will is that you can control who you would like to be a guardian for your children if you die prematurely. A will helps ensure that your children will be taken care of by someone of your choice. Without a will, the decision would be made by the state.
Since a will allows you to choose how your property is divided, you may elect to have some or all your property go to your children, either upon your death or when they reach a certain age.
The process of having a will drafted may appear daunting, but it does not have to be. Estate planning attorneys are here to help you through the process and provide peace of mind, knowing your affairs are in order.