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How risky is it to forego an estate plan in New York?

| Mar 31, 2021 | Estate Planning

There are a lot of New Yorkers who don’t put much, if any, thought into estate planning. These individuals think that their lives are pretty simple, and that allowing their assets to pass to their loved ones without a will suits their needs well enough. But this kind of thinking can be a big mistake, putting your wealth and your loved ones’ futures at risk. This is because New York’s intestacy laws may not be as straightforward as you think.

Passing away in New York without an estate plan

If you pass away without an estate plan, then your assets will be distributed in accordance with state law. That distribution is dictated by your relationship with others, such as whether you’re married and have children. Sure, if you have a spouse with no children or children with no spouse, then your assets will pass to those who survive you. But if you have a spouse and children, then the law dictates that your spouse will receive the first $50,000 of your estate as well as 50% of any remaining assets. Your children will then receive the remaining 50% of your estate.

While that might seem pretty straightforward, it can create complications given your unique set of circumstances. For example, if your spouse chooses to remarry, then your assets could end up falling into the hands of that second spouse and his or her children after your spouse passes away. You might also have concerns about leaving large chunks of your estate with a particular child, but you lose that control through intestate succession.

Let us deal with the details necessary to achieve your goals

Although creating the estate plan that you want may seem difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Experienced attorneys like ours know how to draft the documents that are needed to ensure that your estate and your loved ones are protected in accordance with your wishes. This might mean creating a will, implementing trusts with or without contingencies on distribution, and drafting trusts with remainders to ensure that you retain control for a significant amount of time to come.

So, if you’re looking for protection and a sense of relief knowing that your assets are in good hands, then now might be the time to sit down with an attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law.