Having a Last Will and Testament is an essential part of an estate plan. Your Will allows you to provide for and take care of your loved ones after you have died. Your Will ensures that your assets are distributed to whom you want and according to your terms and wishes. Having a proper Will in place, taking into account many different circumstances and contingencies can help make life for your loved ones easier as they grieve and adjust to life without you.
A proper Last Will and Testament can provide, among other things, that:
- Your assets are distributed as you wish
- There are less complications for your loved ones after you have passed
- You have nominated a guardian for your minor children
- Assets for minor children can be placed in trust for their benefit
- Any businesses you own are protected
Wills vary in complexity depending on an individual’s situation. There really is no standard Will and the legal requirements for a Will vary from state to state. The attorneys at Harms & Harrigan will discuss with you your particular situation and help craft a Will that is for your specific circumstances. You should never assume you do not need a Will just because you are not wealthy or you lack valuable assets. In fact, it is important to have a Will because without one, the laws of New York State would determine how your assets are distributed, which may not be according to your wishes.
Wills also protect more than material assets – they allow you to nominate a Guardian for your minor or incapacitated children. You can also set up trusts for any family members including for disabled or minor children or family members that may have other issues whereby a trust would be helpful for them. A Will is one way to ensure your children are protected in your absence.
Your Will also allows you to nominate someone who will handle the administration of your estate, your Executor. Your Will allows you to nominate a Trustee(s) to oversee any Trusts that you set up within your Will. Your Will also allows you to provide for family pets, including setting up a Pet Trust within your Will so that your Pet is taken care of properly after you are gone. Finally, your Will can provide for various charities that are important to you.
What Makes a Will Enforceable?
New York State has certain requirements that must be followed for you to have a legal and valid Will. If these requirements are not followed, your assets may be distributed to people who you did not intend for your assets to go to. The attorneys at Harms & Harrigan, LLP have prepared hundreds of Wills according to the requirements of New York State and some of these Wills have been successfully probated in the following Surrogate’s Courts: Suffolk County, Nassau County, Queens County, Westchester County, Bronx County and Brooklyn (Kings County).
The Long Island firm of Harms & Harrigan, LLP can help you create a valid Will to ensure your wishes holds up in court and can be enforced after you are gone. They will explain the process and assist you in creating a legal document that details your wishes and provides for your loved ones as according to your wishes.
If you would like to know more or you are ready to discuss creating your will with an attorney, contact the law firm of Harms & Harrigan, LLP.