Estate planning in New Jersey is not only for the very wealthy or the very old. It is important to plan your estate no matter which assets you wish to pass down and no matter how much your estate is worth. Everyone should have an estate plan and it becomes even more important if you have children.
There are many benefits to having an estate plan, including the fact that it makes things less complicated and confusing as well as minimizing the money that your loved ones will have to spend on matters connected to your estate after you have passed on.
What is the definition of an estate?
An estate is the total net worth of a person when they die. The estate includes personal assets (including real estate, business equity, stock, bonds, bank accounts and intellectual property). The estate may increase in value and in the number of assets after the person passes on.
Exactly what is estate planning?
Estate planning involves more than just a will (many people believe that the will is the only document that matters). Estate planning can also involve a will, a trust, powers of attorney (POAs) and beneficiary forms. Each of those documents contributes to determining what happens after the person passes on or becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to make decisions for themselves.
If the person does not have an estate plan, things may become much for complicated after they are no longer here. Without an estate plan, the processes can be held up in court for years and it may take a very long time for the person’s assets to reach the beneficiaries as well as other aspects of the person’s estate that were meant to be executed smoothly.
It is important for you to have a clear understanding about which documents should be a part of your estate plan and using a checklist may be helpful to you so that nothing is allowed to fall through the cracks.
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Life insurance
- Living will
- Document with beneficiary designations
Valuable advice from an estate planning attorney
If you decide to plan your estate, the advice and support of an estate planning attorney may prove to be invaluable to you and your estate planning experience may go much more smoothly than if you had to handle it on your own. The attorney can help you to develop a legal strategy that can enable you to efficiently and cost-effectively transfer your assets to your loved ones once you have passed on. It is the best way to ensure that your wishes will be carried out and your assets will go to the people whom you wish to have them.