New York residents may be surprised to learn that an Austrian grandmother recently shredded currency equaling $1,020,490 in order to keep her family from inheriting the money. The shredded bits of cash were discovered on her nursing home bed just prior to her death, according to media reports.
New York residents create wills and trusts to ensure that their families are financially secure when they pass away. Despite this, many family members could spend months or years searching for the legal, financial and health care documents. Along with putting all of these items in one place and making them accessible to family members, digital document archives are generally less expensive than traditional estate planning methods.
While some New York residents may believe that there is no reason to draft an estate plan if they do not have children, this could not be further from the truth. Individuals without children must take extra precautions regarding the disposition of their assets because they are not as protected by laws of intestacy as people with children are. New York's laws of intestacy favor a surviving spouse or children to inherit a decedent's belongings. However, unmarried or childless individuals may wind up having a long-lost relative inherit their belongings if they do not have a valid will or trust.
Many New York residents who diligently plan their estates tend to overlook some important things in their wills. One of the most crucial elements that a lot of people forget to include is an alternate beneficiary. In the event that the primary beneficiary is deceased or unable to inherit assets because of their age or mental capacity, a will must leave instructions for a backup plan.
It is very important for New York families to stay abreast of the changing estate planning laws. When a couple has a large estate, there are many federal estate tax rules that could have an effect on the way that they structure their estate plan. Right now for instance, each person is allowed to pass $5.43 million to heirs tax-free.
New York residents familiar with estate planning might know the purpose of an executor. An executor is a representative who is appointed under a will to handle a person's estate after death. An executor makes sure one's wishes are met and receives a stipend from an estate for services.
For a variety of reasons, many New York residents don't want to think about their passing away. People sometimes thus put off estate planning, viewing it as something to do later. There are several common errors that people make with estate planning that should be avoided.
A New York man recently made waves when he left his daughters $20 million in a trust that they would be entitled to when they turned 35. The fact that his daughters had to wait until age 35 to collect was not necessarily controversial. Those who study the issue say that conditions that allow the daughters to collect some of the money prior to age 35 amount to helicopter parenting.
Many people in New York do not have formal estate plans, but almost every person needs one. When a person dies without an estate plan, state intestacy law will govern where their assets are dispersed, and a court will decide who will take care of their minor children. An estate plan can also instruct loved ones about how to care for a person in the event of temporary or permanent incapacity.
New York residents may not know that, according to the CNBC Millionaire Survey, 38 percent of Americans with assets of more than $1 million have not taken any steps to protect their estate. However, 68 percent of those with more than $5 million in assets have said that they have talked to an financial planner. In addition, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to talk to financial planners by a margin of 68 to 61 percent.