Whether you want to create a will or letter of intent, estate planning allows you to control your assets and provide for your family when you’re no longer able to do so.
The Importance of Crafting an Estate Plan
If you have a substantial estate, you may want to make sure that you are able to control every facet of it. Around 60 percent of adult Americans do not have an estate plan prepared, which means that they will not control what happens to their property after they’re gone. If you are interested in creating a plan for your estate, get in touch with one of our New Jersey probate lawyers today so that we can give you the help that you need.
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What Is Estate Planning?
To better understand what goes into estate planning, you should first be aware of what constitutes an estate. Practically everyone in the world has an estate that has at least some value to it. This estate refers to anything in your possession at the time of your death, including:
- Personal property, such as artwork and vehicles
- Stocks and a wide range of other securities
- Real estate
- Any bank accounts in your name
- Your life insurance policies
People who don’t have an estate plan in place won’t have direct control over how their assets are handled upon their death. However, creating an estate plan allows for exact control over the smallest of details in regard to your full estate. Whether you want to transfer all of your assets to your heirs and other beneficiaries or would prefer to place these assets in certain charities, a well-realized estate plan provides you with the ability to carry out these wishes. Call our New Jersey estate planning lawyer today if you want to start building a plan for your estate.
Why Is Estate Planning Necessary?
Estate planning is designed to assist an individual in a number of ways, which primarily focus on making sure that he or she has a say in what happens to his or her assets. An estate plan can designate which friends or family members receive any property or assets after the creator’s death. These plans are also meant to minimize the number of legal hurdles that occur with the transfer of property.
A proper estate plan can reduce the amount of taxes that a person’s family or benefactors must pay upon his or her death. While many assets may need to go through the lengthy probate process, an estate plan can actually lessen the amount of property or assets that will need to be taken through probate after the death has occurred. This is a process that our Middlesex County probate lawyers can help you understand better.
Individuals who create estate plans are also able to control what types of life-prolonging care are provided to them if ever such a need occurs. In such a scenario, it may be impossible for this individual to make his or her desires known without an estate plan in place. These plans are also able to detail a person’s preferred funeral arrangements.
Primary Components of Estate Plans
Estate plans can be comprised of a wide array of different documents and items that determine how a person’s assets and property are handled after his or her death. The main aspect of most estate plans is a will or living trust, which is a document that’s designed to distribute property based on the individual’s wishes. Beneficiary designations can also be made with an estate plan, which is aimed at identifying who is going to be a beneficiary of your will. A power of attorney designation can be made through an estate plan as well, which gives someone full control over what happens to your property and assets if you’re unable to make these decisions. Other components that can be included in estate plans extend from letters of intent to guardianship designations.
If you want to be certain that your wishes in regard to both health care and your property will be honored once you’re gone, call Jason Alguram our Middlesex County estate planning attorney now at (732) 351-2121 so that we can help you create a plan that’s right for you.