Most New Yorkers care about their families enough to want to protect them in the event of a financial emergency. The loss of a job or the death of a parent can cause not only emotional grief, but also financial havoc as well. There are many things parent and family members can do in terms of protecting children and others by drafting a will to cover many unexpected situations.
Drafting a will in order to allocate assets may be just the tip of the iceberg. There are many things involved in properly creating and executing a will. A will may contain a person's wishes for distribution of assets, but also may address issues like choosing guardians for minor children and making power of attorney designations.
Having a guardian lined up will ensure that children are properly cared for in the event of both parents' death. Although the state will appoint a guardian if a person dies intestate, the guardian selected may not necessarily be the best fit.
A power of attorney allows an appointed person to make health care and financial decisions for a person if he or she becomes unable to do so. Ideally, the right person is aware of the person's wishes, is a close friend or family member and is honest and trustworthy.
Many people put off drafting a will for various reasons. However, having a will in place ensures that a person's wishes regarding his or her estate will be granted upon death. In addition, having a will can reduce conflict, which can result in a costly and lengthy probate battle. Life comes with unexpected events and nobody can predict when they will die. Therefore, the best time to get started on a living will or estate plan is now.
Source: Mtn. Grove News-Journal, "Tips for Protecting Your Family's Financial Future," Feb. 11, 2013