A Buffalo resident who is just establishing their career or who has not taken the plunge into marriage or parenting may not feel as though an estate plan is important for them to create. Even individuals who care for dependents may not worry about the future of their estates if they perceive their incomes and property holdings to be minimal. These assumptions are generally not accurate, and it is to the benefit of individuals of all life scenarios and financial stations to create estate plans that reflect their wishes and desires.
This is because the failure of a person to create an estate plan can financially deplete their estate and may give their assets to individuals who the decedent never intended to benefit. Property that is not designated to others through certain testamentary documents must be probated at the probate process can be a cumbersome undertaking. Additionally, property that is not identified as the inheritance of named parties may pass according to the state's laws of intestacy.
When a person dies without a will, they are considered to have died intestate. Intestacy laws generally permit close relatives, like spouses, children and parents, to benefit from decedents' estates before more distant relations. However, if a person has a strained or failed relationship with a close relative that person may still benefit from the decedent's end of life wealth, if they are allowed to inherit through intestacy.
Making an estate plan is not something that only the wealthy should do. It is important for anyone who wants control over the disposition of their wealth and property at the end of their life. Estate planning attorneys can counsel interested parties on how best to start the estate planning process.