Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Ensuring a will is honored in New York

Infighting or drama within a family may make it harder to ensure that the terms of a will are honored. In a best case scenario, a will may be challenged in court, which may cause a delay in when a beneficiary receives his or her inheritance. However, there are ways to increase the odds that a will is honored. First, it may be possible for individuals to create a contract stating that the terms laid out in the will cannot change.

Parents who have concerns that their children may mismanage their money may wish to put assets in a trust. The trust may contain language that stipulates when money is distributed and what may trigger a distribution. For instance, a child who does well in school may get rewarded, or he or she may receive money to be used to buy a home.

A trust may also be helpful for parents who have children with special needs. Placing assets in a trust means that there are resources he or she can rely on without jeopardizing additional government benefits. If the assets were simply placed in a will, a spouse or another individual may still give surviving children the cash that they ask for even if it goes against wishes expressed in a will.

Talking with an attorney may be an effective way to create or review an existing estate plan. An attorney may be able to review current power of attorney documentation or the terms of an existing trust. It may also be possible to amend documents to reflect an individual's current needs and wishes after passing. This may decrease the odds of a legal challenge upon passing.

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