A Last Will and Testament: What is This?

Estate planning lawyer in Metropolitan New YorkA will, simply speaking, is a legal document which deals with who will receive your assets and handle the issues involving your estate upon your death. In addition, a will gives you the ability to appoint a guardian to watch over and raise your children should you die while they are in their minority.

Wills Simplify Estate Issues

A will can help avoid litigation among your prospective heirs. A will allows you to make arrangements for those individuals who depend on you for support.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Will?

If you don’t have a will, your assets are distributed under the laws of intestacy. The intestacy laws in the State of New York do not necessarily distribute the assets the way you would have wanted them to be distributed. If you don’t have a will there can be a dispute among your heirs as to who will act as the administrator of your estate. In a will you appoint an executor. The person appointed executor is usually an individual you feel has the competency, ability and your trust to handle your assets at the time of your death and see to it they are distributed appropriately.

Who Can Make a Will?

A will can be made by anyone over the age of 18. The individual making a will must have what is referred to as “testamentary capacity.” This means he or she must know what his or her assets are, and understands who his or her loved ones and family are.

Testamentary Substitutes

Some assets do not pass through a will. These assets which don’t pass through are received by the beneficiaries directly from the asset. Examples of testamentary substitutes are people on joint bank accounts (this does not refer to convenience accounts), tenancies by the entireties on deeds, joint tenancies on deeds, in trust for accounts in financial institutions, pensions, 401(k)s, and IRAs which have beneficiary designations.

How Do You Have a Will Prepared?

Simply speaking, hire an attorney. Wills are, generally speaking, inexpensive legal documents to have prepared by an attorney. Having an appropriately drafted will can give you peace of mind and see to it that upon your death, your assets are appropriately handled and distributed.Long Island estates and wills attorney