Futterman, Lanza & Pasculli, LLP

The softer side of estate law and asset protection in New York

When it comes to estate planning for elderly residents of New York, there are lots of critical issues to address. From asset division to establishing trusts to determining advance health care preferences for life-sustaining methods, end-of-life planning documents cover a variety of important topics. When handling estate law and asset protection for the elderly, though, it can be just as important to consider what might be considered softer issues, the non-financial concerns that arise for seniors in their later years.

Many of these matters, such as the specific distribution of physical possessions, can be easily addressed in legally binding document with a New York estate planning lawyer. With other concerns though, many find it preferable to discuss them ahead of time with loved ones before documenting them in writing, such as preferences for end-of-life care and life-support. Even if an individual decides not to discuss his or her choices ahead of time, it's advisable to make sure family members know how to access the essential legal documents and the name of the estate planning attorney.

Some of the softer issues elderly individuals may want to consider addressing include their feelings regarding dementia, such as whether they would prefer in-home care or moving to a facility that would remove stress from family caregivers? Along a similar vein is establishing the senior individual's attitudes toward end-of-life care, in regard to quality of life and living will directives. Additionally, while it may seem a cliché to some, many people's pets are like family members; for those concerned, estate planning can establish details for continued pet care after an owner's passing.

Even preferences for funeral arrangements can be formally established in advance. A New York estate planning lawyer can also help an individual detail the disposition of possessions that may have personal meaning, helping specific assets remain in the family or ensuring heirlooms are not sold. Whatever the concern, an attorney with experience in estate law and asset protection will likely be able to address it.

Source: news.morningstar.com, "Don't Neglect the Softer Side of Your Estate Plan", Christine Benz, Sept. 17, 2017

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