Adults of any age should consider what will happen to their property and heirs after they die. This process is called estate planning and can ensure that your wishes are followed after your death.
However, estate planning can also impact you while you are still living. Testamentary instruments such as trusts can transfer property at any time. Additionally, powers of attorney or living wills can provide instructions to nominated parties in case you become unable to make your own decisions.
It could be beneficial to speak with a reliable attorney to determine how your estate plan can impact your life and future. A Manhattan trust & estates lawyer could help to explain your options and craft documents that fulfill your specific needs.
Why Should People Have Estate Plans?
The purpose of having an estate plan is to avoid the state’s laws concerning intestacy. Intestacy occurs when a party dies without a will or other testamentary document. Kansas Code § 59-504 states that if a person dies without a will in place but has a surviving spouse, the spouse will inherit the entire estate. However, if a person dies with both a spouse and one or more children, half of the estate will go to the spouse, with the remainder split between the children.
Having any form of testamentary document overrides this law. For example, an estate plan could devise a person’s entire estate to a single heir. Alternatively, a plan could provide payments for a charity of one’s choice or provide instructions for a business’ future. A trust & estates lawyer in Manhattan could provide more information about the purpose of an estate plan in avoiding a court-ordered distribution of property.
Common Documents that Comprise an Estate Plan
foundation of an estate plan is a will. Traditionally, a will nominates an executor who then has the duty to carry out the instructions in the document. A last will and testament only goes into effect once a person dies, and usually must go through probate.
However, this outcome is not always desirable. For example, a party may wish to transfer property before they die. In other situations, they may want to have instructions on hand for what they want to happen in case of physical or mental incapacity.
A local trust & estates attorney could help parties to select an estate plan that works best for them. Different documents that may comprise an estate plan include:
An experienced attorney could provide more information about each of these options and assist individuals in deciding which options work best for their situation.
Speak with a Manhattan Trust & Estates Attorney Today
Many people think of estate planning as something for senior citizens. However, an unexpected illness or injury could result in a person being left unable to care for their needs or express their opinions. For this reason, it is better to be prepared early on by making an estate plan.
A Manhattan trusts & estates lawyer could help with this process. Our team could explain the purpose of an estate plan and work to craft documents that express your desires and needs. These documents can help make your desires clear when they take effect as well as avoid many of the legal complications that can arise when a person dies intestate. Reach out to our office today to learn more.