Placing their home in a living trust may be one option for New York residents who are creating an estate plan. There might be a number of reasons to do this instead of using a will to pass down assets to beneficiaries. One is that a trust means avoiding the probate process. This can potentially be both costly and lengthy. If a person owns homes in more than one state, then that property would have to go through probate in other states unless placed into a trust. A trust is also more private than a will.
Blended families and previous spouses can make the estate planning process more complicated than you think. You might want to include your previous spouse in your estate plan, especially if you have children together. You also need to consider any stepchildren from your current spouse, and the dynamic between all members of your family.
A family that was chronicled on the television show "American Greed" once had a $100 million fortune. The money was spent on vacations, diamonds and one trip to a strip club that cost $90,000. However, once the money ran out, family members began to feud with each other with one of them going to prison. One lawyer who has experience with estate planning says almost any family could learn from what they went through.
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.
Dividing an estate can be complicated when one has multiple children. This can be especially true when a parent wants to pass on a vacation home that may hold sentimental value for several kids. For New York parents who have a vacation home, it's never too early to start planning for the future.
New York parents dealing with a special needs child may recognize that there will be life-long challenges in caring for that individual. One of the greatest worries in this situation may be how to ensure that the child will continue to have the care needed after both parents are gone. While some parents rely on their other children to help in such situations, life changes could interfere. Sound estate planning can be helpful for addressing these concerns.
For many New York residents, pets are an important part of their lives. Nevertheless, in many cases pets are abandoned or brought to an animal shelter when their owner dies or becomes unable to care for them. To avoid this from happening, however, pet owners can set up a pet trust as part of their estate plan.
Couples in New York and around the country sometimes believe that marriage negates the need for estate planning tools such as powers of attorney and wills. While married couples enjoy several legal rights and protections, there are still a number of good reasons for them to put an effective estate plan into place.
New York residents who want to leave an inheritance for their children but are concerned about them being irresponsible with the money may want to look into trusts. Trusts can be used to restrict how beneficiaries are able to use money or to protect the inheritance from creditors.
New York residents may know of cases in which one person's death led to a family conflict that no one ever recovered from. One such incident happened when a woman's mother died. Her brother told her that she had been left $10,000 but he still needed to pay bills. Once the bills were paid, he claimed that only $300 was left for her although he had been left a car and the mother's condo.