Proper New York estate planning has ramifications beyond the lives of the planners themselves. Whole families are impacted by these decisions. The far reaching consequences mean that it is often appropriate for concerned family members–like adult children–to remind parents of the value in proper estate preparations.
An article yesterday in the Monterey County Herald discussed the role that adult children often have in encouraging their parents to adequately create and update estate plans. A concerned daughter had contacted the paper to ask for help working with her parents through the process, because she noted that “their estate is a mess.” Apparently several years ago the woman’s parents contacted a small firm with only one office seeking help to create a living trust. The trust was created and then forgotten about. Several years later the family wanted to update the plan. However, the employee who created that trust had left town without leaving any contact information. The senior couple eventually gave up trying to contact the man and have resigned themselves to being satisfied with the outdated documents.
The couple’s daughter explained that, like many area residents, her parents did not like to discuss the issue. The adult child knew that her parents’ most valuable real estate holding was not in the trust and she was completely unaware if they had valid wills, list of assets, life insurance, or burial insurance.
Expectedly, the daughter was strongly encouraged to have her parents get in touch with a new, competent estate planning professional to update the plan. It was explained how it was imperative that the parents trust, will, and medical directives be in place and reflect the couples’ current assets and wishes. The failure of valuable assets to be included in the trust would lead to unnecessary and costly probate.
These issues are often tough for many parents to discuss with their children. That is why it is sometimes necessary for children and other loved ones to take time to ask about estate planning matters and provide encouragement to ensure that the task is not ignored. The protection of important assets, security of long-term care plans, and necessity of clear medical directives affect everyone in a family.
In our area, our New York estate planning lawyers are capable of helping families work through all of these issues. Our professionals are here to discuss the options in more detail, provide advice on how they may apply in your specific situation, and ensure that the proper legal documents are created.
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