Since the Estate Plan is only as good as the information upon which it is based, you should gather, write down and share with your advisors (insurance, financial and legal) the essential information about the nature and extent of your assets, your family background and your wishes upon your death. This information, besides providing a record of the essential information for the Estate Plan, is a good jumping off point for discussing the Estate Plan basics with your advisors.
Revocable Trusts (also called "living trusts") have continued their popularity as an alternative to a traditional Will and to the "probate process".
Introduction – In New York, a person (known as the "principal") may make a Power of Attorney (a "POA") to authorize another person (known as an "agent) to act on his behalf in financial matters. The POA is widely used for financial and estate planning purposes and for avoiding the expense of guardianship in the event of the principal’s incapacity. POA’s grant to the agent broad authority to spend the principal’s money and sell or dispose of the principal’s property with or without the principal’s prior knowledge! This grant of authority has often been made by principals who did not fully understand the scope of the powers granted, and as a result it has led to much abuse.