Some area residents may think that New York estate planning is only for married seniors who have big families and substantial wealth. Fortunately, more and more people are coming to understand that this planning is a necessity for all community members, no matter what their situation in life. The Calgary Herald recently discussed the universal applicability of estate planning by sharing the example of a thirty-six year old mother of two who was recently divorced. The woman had never before seriously considered financial matters, but everything changed following separation from her husband.
It was not long before the mother began to realize that taking care of her family was now squarely on her shoulders–necessitating prudent preparation for long-term contingencies. For example, if she were to suddenly become ill, who would take care of her children? If she became disabled, how would the family survive? The woman began considering these and similar questions before realizing that she wanted the peace of mind of knowing that she had prepared for these possibilities ahead of time. The woman visited an estate planning attorney and learned what options were available to her. She eventually purchased life insurance, disability insurance, and had legal documents drafted to ensure others could make critical decisions on behalf of her family if the need arose.
The mother’s situation is a good example of why estate planning is often particularly important for singles. Those without a partner frequently need to clearly spell out their wishes ahead of time, because fewer people may be around to speak on their behalf. For example, a thirty year old single man may get in an accident shortly before closing on his first piece of real estate. If he has taken the time to create a durable Power of Attorney, the named individual may be able to close on that new home on his behalf. There are countless similar situations that may arise where prior estate preparation can significantly affect an individual’s life.
Creating a New York estate plan is much more than simply dividing up assets upon death. Instead, it is a comprehensive contingency plan that accounts for various possible life situations and ensures that resources are available if necessary. In this way, the planning is important for all community members, whether married or single, old or young, wealthy or middle class.
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