A Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is one way that you can provide instructions for the distribution of your property after you die. So here are some tips to determine when a Will may be beneficial for you based on variety of life events.
The top 5 reasons you should create a Will
- When you want to override the Default Rules
If you do not have a Will, then New York state provides a set of rules for the distribution of your property. Essentially, if you are survived by a spouse, then the spouse gets the pot. If you are survived by a spouse and children, then your spouse gets the first $50,000 and then shares the rest with the kids. Click here for the complete set of rules. You may want to create a Will if you want to give your spouse everything or disinherit completely and provide nothing.
- When you want to ensure that your non-biological child will receive a share.
New York states treats adopted children, non-marital children, posthumously conceived children, step-children, and foster children differently. Click here for explanations of how each type of non-biological child is treated. You may want to create a Will if you are concerned about the inheritance rights of your non-biological child after your death.
- When you want to make charitable bequests.
New York state law does not provide for any automatic gifts to charity. If you want to make a charitable donation, then you will need a Will.
- When you have minor children.
You can use your Will as an opportunity to nominate who could be the guardian of your minor child or the trustee of a testamentary trust established under your will. Click here for more information on who can be an appropriate fiduciary.
- When you want to maintain control after your death through use of trusts.
If you are concerned about vesting complete control in your heirs, then you can continue to maintain control through the use of trusts established under your will.Just remember one thing – if you do create a Will, be wary of leaving it in your safe deposit box!
Additional resources provided by the author
For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Or visit her at her new location:
80 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038
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