If you are like man people in New York, you understand the importance of having an estate plan. However, even if you have a will or trust in place, it may not be enough to adequately meet your needs. It may also fail to address issues that your loved ones may face in the event of an emergency.
Review your beneficiary designations
In most cases, your IRA, 401(k) or life insurance death benefit will be transferred according to instructions listed on a beneficiary designation form. It is important to review this form periodically to ensure that it still reflects your true wishes. If you have a trust, it may be possible to add or remove beneficiaries as events warrant.
Make your preferences known
A financial power of attorney form appoints an agent who can manage assets on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Appointing an agent before you become incapacitated eliminates the chance that a judge will do so for you if you are involved in an accident or experience a cognitive decline.
You can also appoint an agent to help oversee the medical treatment that you receive while in a coma or if you are otherwise unable to make decisions on your own. If you have any special funeral or burial requests, including them in your estate plan may increase the chances that they are respected.
Taking time to go through the estate planning process may be beneficial for anyone regardless of their financial or social status. An estate plan may ensure that assets get to their intended beneficiaries or that there is money available to help pay for a child’s education. An experienced attorney may be able to help you create or review estate plan documents.