Last Will and Testament Estate Planning

A Last Will and Testament (“will”) is a written document, signed and witnessed according to state law, that controls the disposition of assets that remain in the decedent’s name at death. Many assets do not pass under a will, but instead, pass by beneficiary designation, survivorship or by contract. If you are a New York resident and die without making a will, New York law provides for how your assets will be distributed.

Most people in New York do not wish their assets to pass the way New York State would direct. For example, if you die and are survived by a spouse and children, New York’s law provides that $50,000 plus one half (1/2) of the residue passes to your spouse and the balance equally to your children. A common myth is that if you have no will, your assets escheat to the state.

Some considerations:

The will (or the revocable trust, if you decide to use this vehicle) is the primary organizing document of your estate plan in providing for your loved ones. Designing this document with care and attention can provide a long term legacy and tremendous benefit to those you have worked so hard for during your lifetime.

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