We strive to provide you the best possible outcome through individualized attention. We look out for what you want.

What should you include in your New York estate plan?

There are several components that you’ll need to consider when you’re getting your estate plan together. Needless to say, they should all work together to ensure that your articulated wishes are clear, comprehensive and legally binding.

Will and trusts

Your assets can be passed down through your will or by establishing trusts. While the will is suitable for some smaller assets, it’s a good idea to put larger assets in a trust. Trusts give you the power to outline how, when, and to whom you want the assets distributed, and can also be used to protect assets during – and after – life in various ways.

One important consideration of trusts is whether they’re revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust is one that you can change or cancel because you retain control over the assets. An irrevocable trust is under the control of the trustee, so you can’t change or cancel it unless you get the approval of either the court or the beneficiaries.

Health care proxy and advanced medical directives

Planning for your health care if you become incapacitated is critical. The health care proxy is the person who will make decisions with your medical team about what types of care you’ll receive if you can’t make those decisions on your own. The health care proxy isn’t allowed to make decisions that go against the instructions you have in your advanced medical directives.

Your advanced medical directives provide very specific directions regarding things like intravenous hydration, artificial nutrition, intubation and comfort care. You can also opt to refuse resuscitation, but this must be done using the Do Not Resuscitate Order form.

Financial power of attorney

Your bills and other financial matters still need to be taken care of even if you’re incapacitated. This duty will fall on the person you have named as your financial power of attorney. They can handle any financial task you’d normally take care of. Their powers end when you pass away because the administrator of your estate takes over the estate’s finances. In NY, a power of attorney form can also nominate a Guardian should you become incapacitated.

Getting everything together for your estate plan can be a complex process, but it can be easier if you get assistance with it. Seeking support can help to ensure that your estate planning efforts achieve the outcomes that you desire.

FindLaw Network