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Estate planning protects oneself and one's family in New Jersey

People usually like to spend their day thinking about enjoyable things, such as eating, doing fun activities or spending time with family. Pondering subjects such as taxes, incapacity and death is not preferred typically, which is why some people in New Jersey may avoid estate planning. However, having a strong estate plan is essential for taking care of a number of important issues, including what will become of any assets.

It helps to begin by putting together a statement that lists all assets. Then, a person can start creating a will, providing instructions regarding how to distribute the assets to beneficiaries such as family members after death. An executor is appointed to administer the estate and distribute these assets under the guidance of a probate court. In addition, if a person has minor children, the will can be used to designate a guardian to ensure their health and well-being is cared for.

A will is effective only if it is formally admitted to probate. In addition, it may be useful to choose someone to have power of attorney as part of an estate plan. This individual is granted permission to make decisions under specified circumstances regarding spending, investing and selling assets under specified circumstances. Likewise, a healthcare power of attorney -- sometimes called an advance care directive -- can designate someone to make decisions regarding medical care when the individual cannot do it on their own.

Through estate planning, people can rest assured that they will be taken care of according to their own wishes if they become incapacitated. In addition, in the event of their death, their children will be properly looked after and their assets will be distributed as they wished. A person in New Jersey has the right to pursue both their own and their family's best interests by taking advantage of estate planning laws and relevant tax guidelines.

Source: The Sun Herald, "Five most important estate planning documents can secure future of dependants", Kendall Turnage, June 10, 2014

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