The most basic and perhaps the most important instrument in your estate plan, a Last Will & Testament is a legally binding declaration of who will receive your property upon your death. If you died without a Will (intestate), New York State laws determine how and to whom your assets and property are distributed. This may be contrary to your wishes. A well planned Will ensures your property is distributed according to your wishes and therefore allows you to make gifts to whomever you see fit, whether relatives, friends or a charitable organization.
A Will can also help reduce estate taxes and, most importantly for young families, in your Will you can appoint someone as guardian of your minor children. In your Will you may also wish to specify instructions regarding your burial or earmark money to pay for your funeral and burial expenses. This can provide tremendous assistance and comfort to your loved ones during their time of grieving.