In New York State, there are a number of ways that you can preserve your wealth.
In the event that you cannot make financial, healthcare, or business decisions yourself, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your finances are protected.
This article will cover what you need to do to protect your finances, the requirements for a POA in New York, the legal documents you will need to have, and more.
Estate Planning Checklist: New York Estate Planning Tips
Estate planning is something that everyone should do. Whether you have lots of property, investments, and savings to protect, or you’re just looking to secure the financial future for your loved ones, estate planning means taking steps to spare unnecessary delay if you are ever unable to make financial decisions.
Below are a few legal documents that can help ensure your financial future and secure your assets.
Durable Power of Attorney
In New York, a durable power of attorney is created to give another person authority over certain decisions in an individual’s life. The principal (the person who created the document) assigns an agent (the person with POA) whom they trust to carry out their wishes should they no longer be able to.
In the US, there are a number of different types of POA, but a durable power of attorney remains in place until the principal passes or the POA is revoked. It may allow the agent to make decisions based on everything from financial decisions to business issues.
A POA can ensure financial management and continuity in the event that you are incapacitated. It can cover you in advanced age, due to declining health, or if you are about to undergo a medical procedure. You can also use a durable POA if you are often out of the country or are deployed on military service.
A durable POA should be someone trusted to carry out your wishes and ensure your bills are paid, financial decisions are made, and no disputes arise from family and friends regarding how your funds should be managed.
Healthcare Proxy and Living Will
A healthcare proxy or medical POA is someone who takes over the authority of your medical decisions should you be unable to. Like other kinds of POA, their specific authority is laid out plainly in the legal document, and it can be revoked, provided you are able to do so at any point.
Appointing a healthcare proxy means that if you are incapacitated or don’t have the mental capacity to make medical decisions, someone else can follow your wishes. This could be regarding life-sustaining care, end-of-life care, organ donation, and other treatments.
A medical POA or healthcare proxy is particularly useful for avoiding familial disputes about your care. As it sets out what you want, you can rest assured that you will get your wishes.
On top of the medical POA/healthcare proxy, there is also a living will. A living will is only used in the event that you are deemed to have a terminal illness or are at the end of your life and unable to dictate your wishes.
A living will is a legal document that states any and all medical treatments you would like to be used to keep you alive. In addition, it can direct other medical decisions, like organ donation and pain management.
Living wills and healthcare proxies sound very similar, but they work in very different ways. You may want to seek guidance on which is most suitable for you and your situation before creating one or both.
Last Will and Testament or Trust
Your last will and testament sets out what you want to be done with your assets, finances, and more after you die. It can give incredibly specific instructions for everything from your business assets to the property you own. It is the best way to ensure that your finances are protected in the event of your death and can give you peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of.
When estate planning, you may also come across the term ‘trust,’ and like a last will and testament, a trust can also secure your wealth.
A trust is a legal entity that is created by individuals who are referred to as grantors. It assigns assets to trustees, designated in the trust document, to manage the assets set out and ensure the beneficiaries receive them.
Unlike a will, a trust is activated the moment that you create it, but they do not go through the probate process and are not a matter of public record. They only deal with property and assets, though.
Depending on your assets and your wealth, you may find that a will or a trust is more suitable for you. The best person to advise you is a solicitor or your financial manager. They can help you to write and implement whichever you choose to preserve your wealth in New York.
In New York, you have many ways to preserve and secure your wealth. There are many documents, including power of attorney, wills, and trusts, which you can create to ensure your wealth is secured after you pass or if you become incapacitated.
We have offered a brief overview of each of these documents to help you better understand the estate planning process. For more detailed information, speak with your solicitor to get individualized advice.
Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned business and law blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable articles with the audience.
Photo credit: HWM.
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