When it comes to creating an estate plan, many New Yorkers feel overwhelmed. This is normal. There's a lot to account for in these plans.
A solid estate plan is crucial to meeting all your goals. Leaving directives unclear or property unaddressed can be expensive mistakes.
Ignoring digital assets
As more of our lives go online, estate plans need to reflect this fact. When you're creating an estate plan, ensure that your online property is accounted for.
Things like music collections, photo albums and any created works (novels, stories, etc.) should be addressed. You need to decide what is going to be done with these digital assets, and where they are going to go. Additionally, decide what you want to do with any online profiles for sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you want your accounts all closed, make sure to specify that.
If you feel like family members could benefit from keeping certain profiles open, determine who will be their appointees. Using services like a password aggregator can allow you to keep all your sensitive passwords in one place and let someone access them with one master password.
Not taking advantage of all options
Too many New York residents are content to create a simple will and hope that will cover all their bases. Then their family finds out far too late that many aspects of an estate are left unaddressed.
A simple will cannot account for all aspects of people's lives. Things fall through the cracks. This leaves a family pushed into lengthy probate sessions or fighting after someone passes.
Creating a comprehensive estate plan will likely involve a will but also features documents that address the areas a will does not traditionally cover, like long-term health care or guardianship.
Keeping everything updated
Estate plans need to be living documents that reflect your life. When things change in life, your estate plan needs to reflect that. The addition of new family members, change in career or big purchases need to be added to your documents.
An outdated estate plan is better than nothing but it's not ideal. It will leave your family stuck debating missed details and has the potential to throw your entire estate into probate.
Giving peace of mind
A thorough estate plan can prepare you and your family for all the what-ifs that life can throw our way. By making sure all issues are addressed and specifics detailed, you earn peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
A skilled estate planning attorney can walk you through your options and address all your questions.