When a loved one passes away, those left behind are often very distressed. This is a time when emotions and tensions run high, and when conflict between family members in New Jersey can easily flare up. When it comes to estate planning, there are several tips that individuals and families can implement to offset the risk of family feuds. Doing so can make this challenging time far easier to weather for all involved.
The shape of the American family is not what it was in generations past. Today's families in New Jersey and across the nation are often comprised of a blend of children from the current and previous unions. This diversity makes family life far more complex and interesting than in previous decades, but it also brings about a range of challenges. One such challenge involves the need to take a carefully considered approach to estate planning, to ensure that everyone's needs are properly addressed.
A great many families in New Jersey are comprised of a blend of biological and stepchildren, in which one or both spouses have been married previously. This combination can lead to a rich and fulfilling mix of family connections, and often simply expands the number of people with whom a spouse is able to share their love. When considering estate planning options, however, a combined family has needs that differ from a more traditional family in which all of the children are shared by the husband and wife.
For the majority of New Jersey residents, the primary focus of their estate planning involves how to pass on their assets to children and grandchildren. However, there are many couples who do not have children, and their estate planning needs are somewhat different. It is easy to assume that a childless couple has less need for a comprehensive estate plan, but this is simply not true. Even when there are no direct descendents in place, individuals still need to create a roadmap for how their assets will be handled in the event of their death.
For those in New Jersey who have completed the estate planning process, a great sense of security can come from knowing that one’s final wishes are provided for within a legal format. It is important to understand, however, that these documents will need to be reviewed and revised from time to time. Estate planning is best thought of as an ongoing process, rather than a one-time item on one’s to-do list. Significant life events trigger the need to reevaluate one’s documents, and a family move from one state to another is one such event.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning an estate in New Jersey. Most individuals want to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes and will do whatever is necessary to avoid any heirs contesting the will and delaying the process. In situations like this, a no-contest clause may be a useful estate planning tool.