When planning for the final disposition of your estate in White Plains, 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 particular 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 typically not the only element. There are many other essential 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 identified as a "living will." It should also include instructions about funeral arrangements and organ donation.
Crucially, your plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your children, if they are minors. Nonetheless you should initially discuss this matter with the person who you intend to take custody of your children in case something happens to you, to make sure they are willing and able to do so.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in White Plains, New York?
The answer to this question varies largely on your goals and priorities, as well as your age, health, and the amount of assets you have.
Unmarried young adults usually don't think much about estate planning. In most cases, this is fine. Unless you are very sick or have an unusually large amount of assets, estate planning is not something to really worry about at this point in your life.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in White Plains, New York is absolutely necessary: 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 various steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
There is another considerable group of people who would benefit from having a good White Plains, 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 includes facing some uncomfortable realities, it is essential and unavoidable.
Do I Need a White Plains, New York Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be a confusing process, the expertise of a good lawyer in White Plains, New York who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.