The intent of having an estate plan is to ensure that one has control over certain factors in the future. This includes finances, medical care and even the distribution of assets after one’s death. Having an estate plan is a prudent step for every adult, regardless of income levels, the size of the individual estate and more. Planning for the future can provide peace of mind and security.
It is essential to ensure the success of an estate plan. Having a plan is not effective if there are problems that could affect the validity and enforceability of certain documents. If you have a plan already in place or are considering essential steps for the future, you may find it beneficial to learn about what you can do now that will help you avoid problems in the future. This will benefit you, as well as your loved ones and beneficiaries.
What steps can you take?
There are specific things you can do that will make it less likely that there will be problems with your estate plan in the future. Being thorough and prepared is helpful, as are the following suggestions:
- Communicate your wishes very clearly with loved ones and beneficiaries.
- Prepare heirs and children for their rights and responsibilities after your passing.
- Ensure that the right people know where your estate planning documents are.
- Prepare for the possibility of conflicts among family, and take steps to avoid them.
- Understand the potential tax consequences of any gifts left to individuals.
- Be familiar with your own estate plan.
- If you own a business, have a succession plan in place.
- Properly fund any trusts you establish.
These are a few steps that will allow you more control over what could happen with your estate plan in the future. They will reduce the chance of any complications and problems that could arise in the event of your incapacitation or passing.
It is always an appropriate time to ensure you have the right plans in place for the future. Ensuring the success of your estate plan long-term may include evaluating plans you already have and considering what adjustments may be necessary. Life is unpredictable, and a strong, thoughtful and carefully drafted estate plan can provide peace of mind for you and your New Jersey family for years to come.