Do You Need A Will?
The upcoming month is National Health Care Decision-Making Month. During this time, the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association typically conducts free seminars throughout the state as a public service to reach out to seniors and educate them on the benefits of doing basic planning.
Basic planning typically involves making decisions about whom you want to handle your medical and financial decisions if you are unable to do so for yourself.
We appoint someone to make health care decisions if we are unable to make them for ourselves in a document called a health care proxy. We appoint someone to make financial decisions in a durable power of attorney. They are commonly referred to as “advance directives”. We have explained both of these documents in prior blog posts. Read about it here ” Is You Legal House In Order? ”
The other document that we usually do in conjunction with these advance directives is a basic will. While the advance directives serve to express your wishes should something happen during your lifetime, your will expresses how you want your belongings handled and distributed after your death.
Having a will allows you to control how your wealth is divided among the people you care about. If you do not have a will, the law of the state dictate how your wealth is distributed. A surprising number of sophisticated and savvy people die without a will. For some reason, people often overlook this basic tool. It could be that we think we have plenty of time to deal with this in the future, or maybe this is a topic many people just don’t want to think about.
As a special incentive to start thinking about this important planning, we are making a special offer. For anyone who signs up before April 24, we will do your will for $399. Call the office at 718-740-3300 or sign up by email and we will call you.
All the best,
Lori R. Somekh