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Relying on a will alone is an estate planning faux pas

It's a very smart move for adults to have a will. But relying solely on will when estate planning can be a big mistake. New York residents who really wish to be thorough in their estate planning should think about the other documents that are important to include in their plans. To negate documents such as a power of attorney or an advanced care directive could be incredibly detrimental.

When these documents are omitted from an estate plan, a court may actually end up deciding the fate of someone's estate in terms of who should make decisions regarding such important issues as end-of-life care. It could also decide who should look after a person's assets. Omitting these documents takes an individual's power away to make them before something unforeseen should happen.

An estate may also benefit from the use of trusts that can protect assets from the probate process. Having the right trust in place could mean more wealth for beneficiaries in the long run. These things need to be in place well before they're actually needed, so obtaining legal counsel may be a wise move. 

A New York estate planning attorney knows the ins and outs concerning the documents that should be included in an all-encompassing estate plan. He or she can offer advice on whether trusts would be beneficial to individual clients, especially when privacy is a concern. Estate plans aren't simply for the wealthy anymore. An experienced lawyer knows the federal and state laws affecting how estates will be valued, taxed and dispersed.

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