New Jersey residents, just like others, often think there is a lot of time to get involved in estate planning. However, because the future is a mystery to us all, there is no better time than the present to properly implement estate planning in order to control what will happen to your assets in the event of death or mental incapacity. Just as important, though, is to update your estate at regular intervals once you have it in place.
The first document to consider is a last will or testament. This is where one specifies where and to whom one’s assets should go after death. In addition, one should consider the possibility of developing terminal conditions, mental incapacity or a vegetative state. The document to protect one’s interests in those circumstances is called a living will. This document will contain specific instructions about one’s wishes relating to medical preferences in such conditions.
Necessary documents should also include one’s choice of a health care provider to appoint as the person with medical power of attorney. This leaves financial protection planning, whereby a financial power of attorney is appointed. In the event of one losing the capability to handle business affairs, this person will make financial decisions that will be in one’s best interest.
Once New Jersey residents have all these documents in place as part of proper estate planning, they need to remember to review the documents at regular intervals. This is especially true in the event of important changes such as a new baby’s birth, death of a beneficiary or divorce. The knowledge that one’s assets, health care and business interests will be taken care of, could provide peace of mind. Although it is possible to personally do your estate planning, there are related intricacies that may need the guidance of expert counsel.
Source: foxbusiness.com, “The Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Make”, Kelly Trageser, April 7, 2014