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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Maco, ESQ.


1. Take Control Over Your Assets – By executing a valid, properly drafted Will, you ensure that you have ultimate control over the assets you worked so hard to accumulate. Your Will acts as a map which places everyone on notice of how you want your assets distributed. If you do not have a Will, your assets will be distributed under state law. That may cause serious consequences depending upon what state you considered to be your home. Who wants someone else to decide how their hard earned assets are distributed? No one! You earned it; you should be the one to say how it’s distributed. Chances are, the state will not get it right and you can no longer tell anyone what you really intended to do with your assets.

2. Provide for Your Loved Ones Your Way – Did you know that under New York state law, you can legally disinherit your own children? Or, what if you want to take care of a ‘godchild’, stepchild or a stepsibling? If you do not have a Will, these loved ones may not be entitled to any portion of your estate. Because families have been changing and the definition of family continues to evolve, make sure you provide for all the people you love and care about. Don’t leave anything to chance!

3. Avoid Unnecessary Tax Consequences – When a Will is not drafted properly, or if you have no Will at all, the result can be hefty tax consequences that you did not anticipate. Stiff tax consequences will dip into the money to be inherited by your loved ones and placed into the hands of the federal and/or state government instead. This is why you should meet with a Trusts & Estates Attorney so that an accurate assessment of your estate can be made. People tend to have more assets than they think. Planning for your untimely demise may sound grim, but in the end your loved ones will reap the benefits in the way YOU intended……and save you money in the process……money that I’m sure your loved ones can use.

4. Make a Proper Assessment of Your Estate – I’m not much of a betting woman, but I bet that you have more assets than you think. Most people do not think certain personal assets are valuable. Well, one of the benefits of sitting down with an Estate Attorney is to discuss your entire estate and force you to list all of your assets including your personal belongings. I cannot tell you how many times individuals start to list items that they did not think was an asset until they were asked specific questions about what they own.

5. Eliminate family feuds Over Assets – When you have a clear and well-drafted Will, you drastically decrease the potential for family members to guess what your intentions were. No matter how close knit you think a family is, the prospect of receiving money can tear apart family members in ways most people are not prepared for. Again, by preparing your Will, you can avoid such chaos by spelling out exactly how you want your Estate distributed. You’d be doing your family a huge favor by doing so. Why not start planning today?

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