Unfortunately, many American adults do not have an estate plan. They may delay taking this step for many reasons, including failure to see the need for an estate plan or concerns that it’s just too complicated to undertake without help. In reality, estate planning is critical for all New Jersey adults, and it does not have to be a complex process to draft the appropriate documents and make the necessary plans.
Estate planning is the process of deciding what will happen with your property and assets after you pass away, but there are benefits to this process for you during your lifetime as well. Certain estate planning documents allow you to have a say in certain medical decisions and ensure protection of designated assets for a specific future use. With the right plans in place, you can have peace of mind for the future.
Making a difficult process easier
The estate planning process can seem overwhelming, especially for one who is not sure of where to start. If you feel daunted by the process of planning for your future, the following steps can provide direction regarding where to begin and how to make the process as simple as possible:
- Take inventory of your estate and decide what things are most important for your plans.
- Create a strategy and outline specific goals you have for your plans.
- Consult professionals, such as financial consultants, about your objectives.
- Take the time to review your plan on a regular basis and make updates as necessary.
- Make decisions that will not result in exorbitant tax penalties.
- Consider what you will want in case of incapacitation and medical emergencies.
Most people begin the estate planning process by drafting a will. This is a prudent place to start, and it gives you a say in what will happen to your assets after you pass away. However, you may also benefit from additional estate planning tools, such as a trust and advance directives.
What do you need for a complete plan?
What you will need in order to have a complete estate plan depends on your estate and your goals for the future. It may be helpful to seek an assessment of your case as a first step in this process in order to understand the specific steps that may be the most important and useful for your individual situation.