A will can be a vital component of your estate plan, especially if you want to solidify your wishes involving your estate after your death. However, this document can have limitations, depending on state law. Different restrictions or limitations in New York can affect your will’s enforceability, potentially derailing your estate plan.
It can be beneficial to consider legal boundaries before you draft a will. Some rules can impact what happens to your estate, including the following:
- You cannot reallocate your spouse’s inheritance after your death. The law identifies a specific amount or portion of the estate designated to them solely.
- Your part of jointly owned assets can automatically go to the other owner. This rule can overwrite your instructions despite indicating them in your will.
- Household items you own at the time of death directly go to family members you lived with, such as your spouse or children.
- Minors cannot inherit assets directly through a will. The inheritance might need to go into a trust so they can receive it.
Other restrictions can apply under specific circumstances. They may also vary based on the estate’s size and the asset types, potentially leading to complications.
Preserving your will’s enforceability
Because of these limitations, seeking legal guidance when making a will and creating an estate plan can be helpful. Doing so can help preserve your will’s validity, allowing you to address any unique circumstances and applicable restrictions.
Valuable legal counsel can also help you consider high-risk scenarios that could result in disputes among your surviving family members and other beneficiaries. By addressing these issues, you can help avoid conflicts, allowing your family to focus on supporting each other after you pass on.