Planning an estate and advance directives involves a considerable amount of time and review so that the desired result is achieved. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has discussed the importance of the many considerations when preparing planning and other documents. The papers that may typically be a part of a plan include a Last Will, Living Will, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney and Living Trust. As Estate Planning Lawyers recognize, a person must review and understand his assets so that the dispositions specified in the documents are effective to carry out the creator’s plan. For example, if a person is creating a Last Will and desires to devise a certain parcel of real estate , it is important to know the manner in which the real estate is owned. If the real estate is titled in a joint ownership with rights of survivorship in another person, then the Last Will cannot control its disposition as long as the other joint owner is alive. As discussed in earlier blog posts, a Last Will generally only controls assets owned by a person in his name alone.
In addition to knowing and understanding the nature of a person’s assets and the title ownership of these items, a person also must carefully determine and describe the recipient of the beneficial bequests. The language used in a Last Will or Trust must correctly and specifically describe the intended beneficiary and the share or amount such beneficiary is to receive. When the dispositive language in a document is ambiguous or unclear, it is common that Estate Litigation occurs to resolve these ambiguities. Continue reading →