Whether you believe it or not, you already have an estate plan. Under New York law, your house and other assets will pass to your heirs according to the applicable statutes, unless you have a valid Will. Combining a Will with other important planning documents ensures that your property will go to the people you want in the way you choose. A carefully considered plan could help you save taxes and avoid costly court costs and attorneys' fees. Equally important is keeping your estate plan updated by reviewing it regularly, especially when changes occur in family circumstances.
Every estate plan should include, at minimum four estate planning tools: a Last Will & Testament, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Proxy and a Living Will. Other useful instruments include various trusts providing different means to accomplish your planning objectives.