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Understanding the potential problems of not having an estate plan

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is a wise step in New York. This is true for everyone regardless of their age, financial situation, family status or goals. However, it is especially crucial for people who have loved ones to worry about and want to make sure their property is handled as they desire when they are no longer here.

A mistake many people make is putting off the creation of an estate plan. Most people fall back on a basic will. Simply telling a person they should make a will might not be sufficient to spur action. Knowing what might happen if they die without a will (die intestate) can show them the problems that might arise for their family and negatively impact everything they have built.

How is property distributed if there is no will?

New York has rules in place as to how property will be distributed if the person did not create a will. Their family situation plays a major role in the distribution of the property. For a decedent who had a spouse and did not have children, the spouse will get all their property. If there were children and no spouse, everything goes to the children. When there is a spouse and children, the spouse gets the initial $50,000 and half of what is left over. The children get everything else.

As this shows, dying intestate can lead to questions and potential disagreements as to who will receive what from bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, real estate, collectibles and more. People frequently have their own feeling as to what the decedent would have wanted, but if it is not in writing, the court has no alternative but to follow the rules of inheritance for those who died intestate. Property might end up with people the decedent did not want to receive it like siblings and distant relatives.

Creating a will can avoid rancor, dispute and long-term legal proceedings

Having professional and experienced advice throughout the process can help with creating an estate plan that addresses all the person’s needs. Discussing the situation, what they want, how their family will be impacted and creating an estate plan that is specifically tailored to their situation can be achieved by having qualified assistance.

This is true for people of any age, but it is vital for those who have a family, a business, are thinking about their legacy and want to avoid family squabbles after they are gone. It is important to act quickly and have an estate plan in place so the danger and challenges that accompany dying intestate are prevented.