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

How to tell if an estate plan needs work

New York residents and others may not like the thought of estate planning. However, reviewing a plan on a regular basis can help to ensure that it does what an individual wants or needs it to do. For instance, a review session can help to identify whether there are critical components that need to be included. These components could include a will and powers of attorney, and those components should be updated at least once a decade.

If a person has a life insurance policy, it should also be reviewed every few years. This could prevent a policy from lapsing or provide an individual with the opportunity to improve the coverage that it provides. An estate plan will be carried out by an executor or trustee, and a person has the right to appoint a person to this role.

Typically, a spouse or close friend is named as executor or trustee. However, this may not always be the right decision. Instead of a friend or family member, an individual might consider appointing a bank or other financial establishment in one or both roles. Beneficiary designations should be reviewed to ensure that assets are going to the right people and to ensure that they can be passed on without the need to go through probate.

By creating a will or other estate planning documents, it may be easier to protect assets today and for future generations. An individual may also have greater control over his or her finances and medical care by creating a power of attorney or health care directive. An attorney might be able to assist a person in creating an estate plan or editing any documents that already exist. Ideally, plans will be reviewed will reviewed every few years, more frequently if warranted.

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