Many people may think that estate plans typically consist of setting up trusts and drafting wills. However, there are many aspects of estate planning that should be carefully considered. New York residents who are contemplating tackling this vital task may be uncertain which documents they will need in order to provide a comprehensive estate plan.
One of the first tasks is to ensure that the main components of a plan — which typically include revocable living trusts, wills, an advanced health care directive and a power of attorney –all form a cohesive plan. In many cases, a person may select different individuals to fulfill the roles of trustee and agent. In practice, a trustee manages the trust and the assets incorporated into it. The agent is the individual responsible for handling the personal finances and other daily affairs for an individual who may be incapacitated. However, there may also be another individual who will oversee the medical care of the grantor, including obtaining documentation from a physician, stating that he or she is legally incapacitated.
Both the agent and the health care proxy make the decisions regarding the needs of grantor. The trustee is then responsible for ensuring that assets from the trust are used to meet those financial obligations. Many times, a person will select a spouse to run the day-to-day affairs and make health care decisions, while another trusted individual will act as trustee. In order to avoid potential conflict, some people will choose a single individual to manage all aspects of their affairs.
Every situation is unique, and detailed plans can be drafted that will ensure that one’s desires are met. Due to the complexity of some estate planning needs, many people may feel overwhelmed. An experienced New York attorney who focuses on this aspect of law can provide invaluable assistance in ensuring that one’s needs are provided for in the best manner.