Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
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Estate planning for parents in New York

When it comes to wills and bequeathing assets, there are some cases when a parent may leave more to one child than their other children. Unfortunately, this can lead to confusion and hurt feelings. Many individuals feel that when a parent leaves more to a sibling, it means that the parents preferred that child or loved them more. Even if this is not the case, people may have no way of knowing since their parents have passed on.

In many cases, a parent leaving more money to a particular child comes down to financial considerations. Parents may feel that one child is better able to care for themselves, so they do not need the money as much as a less capable child. Alternatively, if one child has a gambling or substance abuse problem, parents may not want to leave them money that could be used to make their situation worse.

Estate planning attorneys recommend that a testator leave a letter explaining their reasoning if they do not divide their estate evenly between their children. If there's an issue with how someone's estate was divided, a letter can help heirs better understand their parent's reasoning, which may reduce feelings of resentment.

Another part of estate planning is determining who will make important choices when you cannot. Powers of attorney can allow you to select people to make decisions about your medical care or financial matters when you are unable to do so. An attorney can explain how these documents work as well as what other documents may be appropriate to complete your estate plan.

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