When planning for the final disposition of your estate in Valley Cottage, New York, there are a few things you'll want to consider: who do you want to give your assets to, and under what conditions? Do you have any preference for how your funeral should be done? Do you have any specific wishes regarding end-of-life care? These questions, and more, should all be taken into account.
The creation of a will (the document laying out what is to be done with your property after your death) is an essential element of an estate plan, but it is usually not the only element. There are many other necessary things that most estate plans should include.
A clear estate plan will also contain instructions to your doctors about your preferences for end of life care, in case you become unable to express them. This is known as a "living will." It should also include instructions about funeral arrangements and organ donation.
Perhaps most especially, your estate plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your minor children, if you have any. Of course, you should discuss this matter with the person you intend to take custody of the children beforehand, to ensure that they are able and willing to provide proper care.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Valley Cottage, New York?
The answer to this question varies on your individual needs, your priorities, your health, and the size and nature of your estate.
If you are in good health, young, and not married, planning an estate is likely not a high priority. And at this time in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very hazardous jobs, or who are very wealthy.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Valley Cottage, New York is absolutely crucial: adults who are not married, but have a life partner who they'd like to provide for in the event of death. There are many rights that automatically attach with marriage, such as the right to inherit if a spouse dies without a will, the right to make medical decisions for the other spouse if they become incapacitated, etc. If you and your partner are, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to get married, you will have to take several steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
There is another large group of people who would benefit from having a good Valley Cottage, New York estate plan: the elderly and those with a lot of money really need to consider making a comprehensive estate plan as soon as possible. While this necessarily involves facing some uncomfortable realities, it is necessary and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Valley Cottage, New York Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Valley Cottage, New York can involve some perplexing legal and financial issues, it is crucial to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.