Estate planning 101: Things every adult needs to know

There are numerous misconceptions and myths surrounding estate planning. Some people believe that they can wait to create an estate plan, while others assume they don’t own a lot to invest in estate planning. Every state has its unique laws related to estate planning. In NJ, a Will is valid if it was signed before two witnesses and even if it was not notarized. If you want to know more about your current circumstances, consider talking to an estate planning attorney New Jersey. In this post, we are sharing some key aspects that every adult needs to know. 

Key estate planning documents

There are different types of estate planning tools and documents that you can consider, including – 

  1. Wills. Your Last Will & Testament allows you to decide who inherits your estate. You can also use your Will to name a guardian for your kids. 
  2. Trusts. You can also decide to transfer your assets to a trust and appoint a trustee to manage the same. 
  3. Power of attorneys. You can have powers of attorney for healthcare and finance. You can choose an individual (could be different people for different POAs) to make decisions for you if you cannot do that because of incapacitation or illness. 
  4. A living will. You can also have a living will that communicates your wishes with regard to end-of-life care and medical treatments. 

Should you revise your estate plan?

Ideally, yes. You should revise your estate planning documents if there have been significant changes in your life. For instance, if family dynamics change, you may want to include or exclude some people from your Will. You should also change your POAs and living will as and when needed. Depending on the document, you can make amendments or redraft the same. Your wishes and interests should dictate your estate planning process. 

Do you need an attorney?

Automated online services promise to simplify estate planning in a few clicks, but this is not something to be taken for granted. Creating an estate plan is more than just about having a will, and only an experienced and known estate planning lawyer can help you decide about certain aspects. They can also help with the paperwork and ensure that you maximize your tax savings. 

Just ensure that you select an attorney who specializes in estate planning and has been working in NJ for a while. It’s best to consult a lawyer before drafting any document.