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Estate planning can be useful for young people too

Young people in New Jersey often fail to consider the necessity of establishing an estate plan, or consider it and determine it's something to be taken care of later. Even if those who are young and have little in the way of assets, though, certain estate planning documents can work to ensure that possessions are distributed properly. Some planning documents can also give direction regarding financial decisions or medical care should the person become incapacitated.

The most important document for most estate plans is a will. A will gives instructions regarding how assets should be distributed. The legal process of proving the validity of a will is called probate. Once the will is proven, the court acknowledges the appointment of the executor.

The executor of a will is tasked with estimating the value of the estate, paying off estate debts and taxes, filing the deceased's income tax returns and distributing assets by the terms of the will. Being the executor of a will requires a significant amount of work. People who are drafting wills should give due consideration to the choice of executor and have a conversation with the chosen person to make sure he or she is willing to do the job.

Other estate planning documents that young people might benefit from include powers of attorney, living wills and beneficiary designations. A power of attorney is a document that gives another person authority to act on the principal's behalf. A living will, also sometimes referred to as an advanced health care directive, sets forth instructions for life support and other matters should the person who made it fall into a vegetative state. An attorney with experience in estate planning law may be able to help by examining the facts of the situation and designing a comprehensive estate plan to fit the client's needs and goals.

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Lanza & Lanza LLP
5 Main Street
Flemington, NJ 08822

Phone: 908-905-0183
Fax: 908-782-4012
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