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While no one likes to think about what will happen when they die, the importance of creating a last will and testament cannot be overstated. A will is a document that legally establishes what you want to occur in the event of your death, including the division of your property and assets among your heirs.
To ensure your will is properly constructed, instituted, and executed, you should enlist the services of an experienced estate planning attorney. You want a smooth transition when you pass away, and an estate lawyer can work with you so that each provision is clearly defined.
Here are some of the most important elements your will should include:
This person carries out the instructions listed in your will. It can be a beneficiary or an outside party. Many people choose their spouse or domestic partner, but it could be a trusted family member, a close friend, or the attorney who helped create your will.
You can leave financial assets or property to anyone you wish, whether it is your spouse, children, family members, friends, charitable organizations, or other entities.
Detail what items go to what individuals and entities, and, if necessary, what will go into a pool to be sold, with the proceeds subsequently being distributed. Include amounts or percentages for designated recipients.
This is extremely important, especially if you have outside business partners. Utilize detailed analysis by your business accountant and estate attorney to create a successful plan that does not lead to complications following your death.
This involves how you intend to settle all financial matters, including related estate or inheritance taxes, probate costs, and funeral expenses.
You will want to name a permanent caretaker for any pets in your home, and you may want to bequeath to them an amount of cash that can be used for their long-term daily care.
Planning and drawing up your will is not a morbid exercise. It is a crucial step to make sure your loved ones are taken care of when you die, instead of leaving them with an unknown and contentious process that could have been prevented. To learn how Goldberg Sager & Associates can help, call a New York City estate lawyer at 718-514-9516 for a free consultation.