Planning an Estate in New York involves many considerations. At the outset of the process, particular care must be taken to understand the nature of the assets to be covered by the estate plan. Assets that are owned in an individual’s name alone would be subject to the terms of a Last Will. Such assets could also be transferred into a Grantor or Living Trust. On the other hand, assets that are owned jointly or which have designated beneficiaries would pass automatically on death to the survivor or beneficiary. Thus, these items may not be controlled by a Will or Trust. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has discussed the importance of identifying ownership rights in property in numerous articles.
Another critical consideration in any type of plan is the selection of fiduciaries to manage and administer the fund that comprises an estate or trust.
Most often, the selection of an Executor or Trustee is an easy decision. A close family member such as a spouse or child is typically the first person to be designated. However, there are always considerations as to whether such persons have the appropriate qualifications to serve in such capacity. There may be health or medical issues that might interfere with a person’s ability to act as a fiduciary. Also, issues such as a conflict of interest may arise particularly where the proposed fiduciary may have some direct or indirect interest in how the estate or trust is administered or invested.