Not many people want to discuss what will happen when they die. Even though death is a certainty, some people are in denial of that fact. As a result, they delay the estate planning process for as long as possible. Some even die without a will in place.

If you are ready to start preparing for your eventual death, you likely have questions about the process. Estate law also has legal terms with which you may not be familiar. Read on to gain the knowledge you need to make the right decisions for your assets upon death.

What is Testamentary Capacity?

 Testamentary capacity refers to one’s ability to make a valid will. A person must be an adult aged 18 or older. In addition, the person must have the mental capacity to understand what property they possess and what they plan to do with the property in case of death.

What is the Difference Between a Living Will and Last Will and Testament?

A last will and testament, most commonly known as a will, is a document that outlines your plans for your assets upon your death. A living will, on the other hand, lets people know what medical care you desire in the event that you can not communicate your wishes.

What is an Executor?

An executor carries out the wishes in a person’s will. They distribute assets as intended and ensure debts are paid off. An executor can be a trusted friend or family member or even a lawyer or financial institution. While there are no requirements to be an executor, the person should be honest and trustworthy.

How Often Should These Documents be Updated?

 A last will and testament should be updated at least every five years. You may need to change it more often as your personal or financial circumstances change. For example, if you willed your car to your sibling, but then decide to sell the car, you would need to update your will. Conversely, if you win the lottery, you suddenly have more assets and may want to give more to certain people and even add people and charities. Also, you should update your will if you gain or lose people in your family. 

Contact a Brooklyn Estate Planning Lawyer Today

Whether you are old or young, estate planning is something you need to consider, especially if you have significant assets. Starting the process now will give you peace of mind down the road.

Without a will, your assets may go to family members whom you do not like or to whom you are not close. Make the right decisions with help from Brooklyn estate planning lawyer Theodore Alatsas ESQ. He can answer any questions you may have about this complicated process. Call our office today at (718) 233-2903 to schedule a consultation.

Ted Alatsas
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Trusted Brooklyn, New York Family Law Attorney helping NY residents with Elder Law and Asset Protection
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