When you sit down to formulate your will and begin to think about planning for what will happen to your assets once you’re gone, you begin to realize that there are more pieces to this puzzle than meets the eye. A will is a great tool to have; unfortunately, it’s not the only tool in a great estate plan. In fact, it’s only one of six vital components that you need in order to ensure that your last wishes are carried out once you are gone. We explore these key elements in this two-part blog series.

The law team of The Law Offices of Diron Rutty has decades of experience in crafting top-notch estate plans that will ensure your last directives are carried out. We can also help with probate litigation and a whole litany of other law services, such as family law, divorce, real estate development and finance, political asylum, and immigration. Below, we’ll review the first three key elements of a good estate plan. Reach out to one of our estate lawyers at our Bronx office for a consultation.

3 KEY ELEMENTS OF AN ESTATE PLAN

Will

Your last will and testament is what most people think of when they think of estate planning. Undoubtedly, a will is a super important piece of your estate planning needs. A will, in essence, states your desires about what should happen to your assets, your minor children, your pets, and your body once you pass. Wills are essential documents that everyone should have. They spare your family from having to make decisions, such as how to distribute your assets, speeding up probate, and helping you easily pass on your small business and other complex manners. Without a will, it is up to a judge to decide, and do you really want a judge deciding who your minor children will grow up with if something happens to you?

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) gives someone the power to make financial decisions on your behalf should you ever not be able to. In addition, he or she can transact on real estate, perform financial transactions, and make legal decisions. If, let’s say, you did become incapacitated without a power of attorney, the court would step in and appoint someone, known as a conservator or guardian. Every time a decision would need to be made, the conservator or guardian would have to get permission from the court in order to act. Thus, not only would you have no say over who would be empowered to make financial decisions on your behalf, but these decisions would face a delay every time one needed to be made. Since the courts are involved, someone has to pay for that time, which would usually be you. A POA is revocable by you whenever you desire, are physically capable, and mentally competent.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

As Americans live longer, a healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) is needed more and more. This is because often people enter a sudden decline and can’t make important healthcare decisions themselves. Thus, when you appoint someone to make medical decisions for you, you are not only relieving your family of having to make that decision, but you are also choosing someone whom you trust (who possibly has medical knowledge) and whom you’ve probably talked to about what you’d like to see happen if you do become incapacitated. This person whom you choose literally holds the key to your life in their hands. The estate planning lawyers of The Law Offices of Diron Rutty recommend that you choose a backup for your HCPA in case your first choice is not able to function as your HCPA at the time.

CHOOSE THE LAW OFFICES OF DIRON RUTTY FOR YOUR ESTATE TRUST NEEDS

The estate planning lawyers at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty are passionate about helping you with end-of-life planning. While the elements listed above may not be necessary for everyone, some most definitely are indispensable for a good estate plan. By consulting with our top-notch estate planning attorneys, we can help you decide specifically what your estate plan needs are. You can rest assured that your wishes and desires will be put down in writing and carried out after you are gone through our estate planning services. If your loved one died without a will, our estate lawyers can help you through probate as well. We understand that in this difficult time, it can be extremely challenging to deal with legalities while you are grieving, especially if your loss was unexpected.

The Law Offices of Diron Rutty has been serving the residents of New York City and the surrounding areas with top-notch estate planning, as well as real estate, divorce and family law, and immigration. Our mission is to help you with all of your legal service needs. Reach out to us today to get started.