Three Causes You Want Extra Than One Will – New York Property Planning Lawyer Weblog – Dec 10, 2020
Wills are an excellent foundation for many estate plans. If you die without a will, a New York court will be tasked with making the difficult decision of who should get your wealth and who should look after your children. If you are like one of many adults in New York this year due to the Covid-19 pandemicYou have probably wondered if your will is up to date or if you’ve ever written one. While any estate planning should begin with a will, it should be understood that wills are only a small piece of the estate planning puzzle. This article lists just a few of the top reasons your estate plan might require more than one will.
# 1 – Wills have limitations on assets
Wills are estate planning documents that you can use to determine how affairs should be handled when you die. You can be as specific as you want with wills or keep the terms of these documents open. While wills control the distribution of many assets, certain other assets go outside of the will terms, including Retirement accounts like 401 (k) plans and individual retirement accounts. This means that beneficiaries listed on retirement accounts will often receive assets regardless of the terms of a will. Beneficiaries can also be listed on regular bank accounts. If a beneficiary is not listed in the terms and conditions of the retirement accounts, those assets will automatically go to the estate administration.
# 2 – Wills don’t address incapacity for work and other health issues
Wills cannot address incapacity for work and other health-related issues in the same way as health directives or wills do. These documents fulfill the important task of outlining your wishes if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. For example, if you are life sustaining, a living will can decide what life saving measures you should receive rather than enabling your loved ones to make that decision. It is equally important to have a power of attorney that allows someone to handle your financial and medical affairs when you cannot. Often times, a person with this responsibility for health care will be different from the person you would appoint to deal with financial problems.
# 3 – Trusts can provide better control over assets than wills
If you want to give your wealth away but do so in such a way that a person with poor money management skills has unrestricted access to a sudden accident, consider the benefits a trust can offer. Trusts hold assets for beneficiaries and exist as separate legal entities created by the documents that create them. If you choose to use a trust, the assets will be passed on to the trust and not directly to your heirs.
Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney
The estate planning process is nuanced, but an experienced estate planning attorney can help you develop a strategy that can achieve any of your goals. Contact Law firm Ettinger today to schedule a free case assessment.