When affluent New York residents buy a work of art, they don't just do it for the financial reward. In addition to potential monetary gain, they also buy art for their personal enjoyment. Therefore, wealthy individuals may hold onto their collections until passing on. Ideally, an individual will account for artwork in an estate plan, but this is not always the case.
When people in New York plan for the future, some of the most important decisions that they have to make about the distribution of their assets may never be reflected in their will. Even people with updated, accurate wills may need to pay attention to this issue in order to prevent their assets from being distributed in opposition to their goals. Some of a person's most significant assets, including 401(k) plans, retirement funds, investment accounts and life insurance policies, are distributed after death to a named beneficiary.
A power of attorney is a written authorization to act on behalf of another person in some specifically defined legal capacity. When a person is creating a New York estate plan, a power of attorney provision is typically included in a will, trust or another document, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for healthcare. No matter the basis for the granting of the power or its scope, there may come a time subsequent to the creation of the power where the grantor determines it is in his or her best interests to revoke it.
When creating an estate plan, it's important to make sure that the wills and trusts are completely functional. Unfortunately, many New York residents drop the ball somewhere in this phase of the planning process. This can create problems for those handling the decedent's estate. A common sense approach to these issues can avoid unnecessary delays and expenses.
Individuals who are planning their estate in New York may have an easy time figuring out how to include assets like money, stocks and bonds in their plan. "Hard" assets like jewelry and artwork can be more difficult to include because they can't be easily divided among beneficiaries, and their value is more difficult to determine. It is important not to overlook these types of assets even though they can make an estate plan more complex.