Two weeks into the new year, many New York residents are likely to find their determination to stick to their New Year resolutions slipping. If there is any one resolution individuals should be sticking to, it is the one to focus on creating an estate plan. If the last year taught people anything, it is that things can change quickly in life and it is important for people to have a plan in place to cater to changing life situations. Though creating a proper estate plan can be a stressful process, if dealt with properly it reduces the stress everyone feels for years to come.
Focus on the basics
Creating a will is a basic step for an estate plan. It helps individuals decide who gets their stuff when they pass away. Some assets, such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities pass on to designated individuals, so they do not need to be mentioned in a will.
Power of attorneys
Though it is difficult to imagine, there can be situations when people are unable to make important financial and healthcare decisions on their own behalf. A power of attorney allows a designated person to make these decisions for them if they are incapacitated in some way. A POA can be limited or broad in scope.
There are other estate planning tools that individuals can use to ensure their assets are passed on to the people they want. Neglecting to take such steps can leave loved ones in turmoil at a difficult time in their lives, as they might find themselves embroiled in will disputes while mourning a family member’s passing.