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A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan. In its simplest form it provides instructions for your last wishes and how your assets and estate should be divided. If you die without a will, your estate will be divided in accordance with your state’s intestacy laws.
In New York, you can change your will by making something called a codicil. A codicil is essentially a supplement or amendment to an existing will, which slightly alters, adds to, or removes something from the will’s original terms.
In legal language, attestation is the act of witnessing the signing of a contract or other written instrument at the request of another party. When a document must be witnessed to be valid, as is the case with a Last Will & Testament, it may conclude with something referred to as the attestation clause.
When a person dies with an estate, the deceased person’s property is distributed as expressed in their will, if a will existed. If there is no will, assets and debts will be handled according to state law.
Determining whether a married couple should establish joint or individual trusts depends on multiple factors; there is simply no one-size-fits-all approach. Although joint trusts are frequently less expensive to set up and may provide better ease of management in certain situations, individual trusts often have far superior advantages.
A guardianship is a legal arrangement where the court gives someone the right to make decisions for another person who is incapable of making decisions on their own. Guardian ad litems are often appointed in cases involving children, or mentally incapacitated adults.
Creating a sound estate plan is one of the most important decisions you can make to preserve your legacy and protect your loved ones. Having a clearly written, comprehensive will is the keystone to your plan. Not only can a solid will ensure your assets are distributed in accordance with your last wishes, it can minimize conflict among your surviving heirs.