Buffalo Wills Lawyer
Thinking about one’s own death is usually not the top of anyone’s list of things they want to do. But giving real thought to one’s legacy and discussing it with a Buffalo wills lawyer can ensure that a person’s wishes regarding their assets are honored and protected.
For over 18 years, DePrima Law has served the people of Buffalo with compassionate counsel on how to manage their legacy. Call our office today at (716) 638-2633 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
Benefits of Having a Will in New York
There are several benefits to putting one’s last wishes into a legally binding document, but there are five in particular that stand out.
Avoid Intestacy in New York
The benefits of having a will in New York start with understanding the consequences of not having a will. In these circumstances, the intestacy process in the state of New York takes over.
Intestacy is where the state uses a predetermined formula to decide who inherits what. Now, the state does make every effort to get assets to one’s immediate family. New York has a default inheritance law where a spouse inherits the first $50,000, and then shares the remainder with any children. If no spouse or children are in line, the state gradually moves outward to locate the closest living relatives.
The problems with intestacy start with the likelihood that it will take a spouse or children longer to complete the legal process of settling an estate. Further problems come from intestacy’s inherent inflexibility. A law designed to cover everyone in the state of New York can’t possibly address the unique wishes each person might have.
Perhaps there’s a close friend that the deceased would have liked to leave something too. Godchildren are common beneficiaries in wills and trusts. A valued home health aide is another example of a beneficiary who would not be covered by intestacy. Grandchildren can’t inherit directly unless the parent who stands in line under intestacy is themselves deceased.
Everyone’s life is different. A will can reflect that while intestacy cannot. The other advantages of a will can be traced back to this basic benefit–keeping control of a legacy in one’s own hands.
Deciding Who Inherits What
Contemplating mortality might be a little dour, but thinking about how to share what’s been accumulated can bring someone real joy. Perhaps there’s a precious family heirloom and a person knows just the right beneficiary who will appreciate it most. Maybe it’s the opportunity to take care of a grandchild’s college education. A Buffalo wills lawyer can help clients get specific about how they want to share what they’ve built.
Deciding Who Doesn’t Inherit
An unfortunate reality of life is that sometimes people have fallouts with those close to them. Deciding who won’t get an inheritance–or will get less than they might have expected–isn’t one of the great joys of legacy planning; however, it does allow an inheritance to be redirected in greater proportion to those the client believes deserve it.
Parents with minor children can use the will to decide who will handle guardianship in the event of a tragedy. If this is not addressed in a will, the children can be at least temporarily transferred into the foster care system while courts decide who is to be the guardian. The courts might choose someone the parents would not have. This outcome can be alleviated by clearly articulating guardianship wishes in a last will and testament.
Picking an Executor
The actual administration of a will is not an easy assignment. A legal process must be followed in Probate Court. Beneficiaries have to be found, creditors taken care of, and inheritances distributed. It can be a difficult burden, particularly given that this responsibility often falls on someone close to the deceased who is also grieving their loss. When a client writes a will, they can choose the executor. It’s a great opportunity to pick someone who is trusted, professional, and can take the burden off immediate family members at a time of sadness.
DePrima Law has over 18 years of experience serving clients in the Buffalo area. That experience allows us to understand all the issues that must be raised in the writing of a will. Call our office today at (716) 638-2633 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
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