When you consider the future, you may think about your retirement plans, college savings for your kids and other dreams you hope to accomplish. You may not give much consideration to what will happen after you pass or what types of care you may need if you find yourself incapacitated at some point. While these can be uncomfortable things to consider, it could be beneficial to think about your preferences and what you may need to do in order to preserve your interests.
An estate plan is a way for you to maintain a measure of control over certain potential events that may arise in the future. Through these documents, you can decide what will happen to your personal property after your death, the type of medical care you may want in the event of incapacitation and much more. Most New Jersey adults will benefit from having an estate plan in place, even if they are not high-income earners or do not own significant valuable assets.
Determine if you need a plan
Most adults will benefit from the protections provided by an estate plan. This could be an important step for you if you own any type of personal property or have children. You do not have to be wealthy or sick in order to benefit from thinking about the future. While you may not need your estate plans for years to come, having these documents in place could give you confidence for the future. Some of the reasons to create an estate plan include:
- You have children and would like to appoint a legal guardian for them in the event of your death.
- You would like to ensure financial provision for your kids in case you are unable to provide for them.
- Your estate is large enough that it exceeds the estate tax exclusions, or you would like to mitigate the potential tax penalties your beneficiaries could face.
- You own a small business and would like to preserve its future operational interests.
- You would like to keep your estate from probate and the details of your property private.
- You have philanthropic goals for your estate, such as giving to a charitable organization, after your death.
Even if you simply want to control legal and financial matters in your future, creating an estate plan is a smart step for you. If you are unsure of where to begin with this process, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced professional regarding your legal options and optimal course of action.