Individuals in New York who are estate planning may wonder about best practices that will ensure asset distribution goes smoothly for their heirs. There are a number of steps they can take while they are still alive to make this process less difficult for their loved ones. Communication is key. Discussing estate planning with family members can help to prevent unpleasant surprises. It is not necessary to go over every detail of one's finances, but giving heirs a sense of what they can expect is important.
The laws of New York allow a person to delegate his or her legal authority to make certain decisions by executing a power of attorney. The person who executes the document is called the principal and the person to whom authority is delegated is referred to as the attorney-in-fact or agent. A power of attorney may be created to cover only a limited time period and a specific activity or it may be drafted to cover an indefinite amount of time or a broad area of decision-making.