Many young people across New York and the nation put off estate planning. Sometimes, they do so because they feel they do not have valuable enough assets to warrant one. Other times, they do so because they believe it takes considerable time and money to create one. However, having an estate plan offers notable benefits and protections, and this holds true regardless of the value of one’s estate.
A solid estate plan does not have to be complex. However, most estate plans contain the following three elements.
A will helps ensure that an estate ends up where the deceased party intended. It gives the testator, or the person who makes the will, an opportunity to express his or her wishes about where certain assets should go. A testator may also want to address other important matters in the will, such as who should serve as guardian over any minor children.
An advance health care directive
An advance directive gives an individual’s doctors and loved ones a sense of what he or she wants to happen medically in the event of incapacitation. There are several different types of health care directives, among them living wills and medical powers of attorney.
A power of attorney
While an advance directive dictates someone’s wishes as far as health care, a financial power of attorney does the same for someone’s finances. Giving someone else power of attorney typically grants that party access to financial accounts and information and lets them pay bills and otherwise manage financial affairs for someone else.
None of the above-mentioned estate planning elements have to be complex or extensive to be effective.