An estimated half of adult Americans have not settled on how their property and possessions should be disbursed after their deaths. However, not having specific plans in place may lead to trust and estate litigation matters, especially if heirs are unaware of the owners’ intentions beforehand. Many New York residents may also tend to put off making these sometimes difficult decisions.
According to sources, almost a quarter of spouses do not know the location of these documents for the couples who do have them ready. Furthermore, adult children do not discuss this topic with their elderly parents, but approximately 40 percent expressed disapproval about how their shares were distributed after their parents died. Additionally, many people seem to put off drafting a will or other documents is the mistaken notion that one must be wealthy in order to worry about ensuring plans are in place.
However, there are valid reasons for making sure that estate planning, including wills, are tended to sooner rather than later. For parents who have minor children in the home, a will can name a person who the parents would desire to raise their children. If this detail is not addressed, a probate court could send children to live with a relative who has never met them. Another reason people may avoid making a will or setting up a trust is they are concerned that it may be cost prohibitive.
Lastly, many people simply do not wish to contemplate their own demise. Unfortunately, putting off until tomorrow what could be done in the present could wind up having some serious consequences for those loved ones left behind. There is the possibility that even with plans in place, New York residents’ wills or even trusts could be subjected to trust and estate litigation matters from unhappy heirs or those left out. Families do have access to professionals who can assist them in drafting plans that will ensure that their wishes are carried out they way they intended.
Source: thestreet.com, “As Americans Blanch at Estate Planning, Financial Advisors Need to Spur Clients to Action“, Brian O’Connell, April 12, 2017