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

Estate planning can be critical for the future

When people in New York plan for the future for themselves and their families, estate planning can be a big part of the picture. However, only 4 out of every 10 Americans over the age of 60 have important documents in place to deal with their finances or healthcare decisions in case of incapacity. These kinds of documents can help to protect people from elder abuse, fraud and other types of negative outcomes. Across the country, 20 percent of Americans over 65 are financially abused; however, only 10 percent expect that it could happen to them.

It is important to have estate plans stored in a durable, accessible location. Online storage can be used in addition to physical storage to help ensure that these important documents are available to family members in case of a crisis. In addition, it can be important to track which estate planning tasks have been completed and which ones need work. Everyone should have a will, a financial power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive.

The first priority is typically making healthcare decisions such as naming the surrogate who will be entitled to make health decisions in case the person making out the document is incapacitated in the future. Once these documents exist, it is critical to review them and keep them up to date so that they remain useful when necessary. In addition, it may be helpful to create trusts and name beneficiaries in order to avoid future confusion and conflict.

Estate planning can be important not only for the future of the family after one passes away but also for one's health and well-being in later years. An estate planning attorney may help people prepare these critical documents and develop a plan for their assets and future needs.

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