You have worked so hard your entire life to build wealth. But, have you thought about what will happen to the possessions you have tirelessly worked for when you pass on? Do you wish to have a voice on what who will inherit your possessions or make important decisions on your behalf when are incapacitated or dead? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you need to have an estate plan. And it does not matter how much you own.
Life is full of uncertainties. While talking about mortality can be unsettling, the reality it everyone dies at some point. A number of things are likely to happen if you die intestate (without an estate plan in place) in New York. Here are some of them:
The court will make decisions for you
An estate plan is a legal document that outlines your desires with respect to what you would love to happen to your assets when you are gone. In other words, your estate plan speaks for you. However, in the absence of one, the state’s intestacy laws will step in to decide who inherits your assets. And if you are incapacitated, the court may have to appoint a conservator to oversee your finances. The court may also give your spouse the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. All these can be avoided if you have an estate plan in place complete with the financial and medical powers of attorney.
You could leave your heirs with a huge tax bill
When you pass on, you hope to leave your loved ones with warm memories of the life you had and inheritance, of course. However, these memories can turn into a nightmare when the taxman comes knocking. With estate plan instruments like trusts, you can eliminate or reduce the amount of estate taxes your heirs will have to pay after your passing.
Contrary to the common misconception, an estate plan is not only for the rich and famous. Everyone needs an estate plan.