Have you been putting off estate planning thinking that your family dynamics don’t warrant an estate plan? If so, you need to make sure that you fully understand what’s at stake by foregoing an estate plan. After all, there may be more at risk than you realize.
New York’s law on intestate succession
If you pass away without an estate plan, then your assets will be distributed in accordance with state law. This means that you will have no control over it. Your wishes and intents won’t matter. So, here’s how it might break down in your circumstances.
If you’re married and have children, then your spouse will inherit $50,000 plus half of all other remaining assets. If you have a spouse but no children, then your spouse inherits everything. Your children will inherit everything if you don’t have a spouse, and your parents will inherit everything if you don’t have a spouse or children. Your siblings will inherit everything if you have no spouse, children, or parents.
How intestate succession could be harmful to your estate
Intestate succession is dangerous for a lot of reasons. To start, if you don’t have a healthcare directive in place, then important medical decisions might be left in the hands of someone you don’t trust. The same is true for important financial decisions. Also, if you want your assets to pass down in a specific fashion or in a way that furthers a charitable interest, then intestate succession might completely derail your wishes. This can become a big issue in many circumstances, but especially in blended families.
Legal help is at your fingertips
You shouldn’t let your hesitancy about estate planning threaten the future of your estate and your loved ones. That’s why if you’re reading this blog post then now may be the best time to reach out to an attorney who can help educate and advise you, as well as develop the holistic estate plan that you need to bring your vision of the future into reality.