Most New Jersey residents understand the importance of having an estate plan. However, many young people have not put any thought into what they want to happen should they become incapacitated. Following the highly publicized death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, young residents should consider making an estate plan. There are several things that it should cover.
One of the first decisions to be made is how the person should be medically treated if they are unable to decide for themselves. Having a health care directive can help ensure that the person’s wishes are met and reduce any family fighting. Second, it should be determined who will be responsible for handling burial costs should the person die. Many people do not have life insurance, meaning that the costs will have to be borne by family members. Next, it should be decided ahead of time what happens to any bank accounts and retirement plans. The person will need to name beneficiaries and ensure that those designations are current.
Additionally, people should include in their estate plan who gets what. Some family members may become or are already hostile towards each other; it may be difficult for them to figure out who gets the high school trophies and other personal achievements, even if they have no monetary value. Finally, one person should be given access to social media accounts.
An estate planning attorney can assist a young client with the preparation of a basic will. Legal counsel can also suggest other types of documents that would be applicable to a client’s particular set of family and financial circumstances.