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Estate planning during one's younger years

When many New Jersey residents consider estate planning, it is a topic that they believe is geared toward those who are nearing their retirement years. Younger people often fail to recognize the need to create a solid plan that can be used in the event of their passing. This, however, is an error in judgment, one that could cost a family a great deal of time, money and stress in the event that an untimely death should occur. Estate planning is not only relevant for individuals in their 30s and 40s, it is imperative.

The foundation of a good estate plan is a carefully drafted last will and testament. This is the document in which parents can designate the individuals they wish to raise their children in the event that both parents die. It is also the guideline for the distribution of an individual's property and assets. Having a will in place can make a world of difference to those left behind, and it can simplify what is a difficult and emotional process.

Next, individuals should consider creating a durable power of attorney. This document names an individual who would be tasked with making one's financial decisions in the event that one is incapacitated. It is also possible to create a health care power of attorney, which designates the party responsible for making important treatment decisions if needed. There are a number of circumstances that could lead to the need for these important designations, and youth is certainly no guarantee against serious illness or injury.

When considering one's estate planning needs at a relatively early age, individuals should consider the changes that come with the middle stages of adulthood. This is the time when many New Jersey residents are building their family. Those loved ones are the reason why estate plans are important, as the documents within are focused on protecting them in the event of a terrible loss.

Source: DailyFinance, "6 Estate Planning Moves You Should Make in Your 30s", Michele Lerner, Oct. 10, 2014

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