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Estate planning at a younger age could be less complicated

Conversations about wills and trusts tend to force people to accept their mortality, which is something many New Jersey residents might prefer to avoid. However, estate planning is necessary for all -- regardless of age, financial situations and family ties. It is a way to ensure the distribution of assets in a manner that will take care of surviving loved ones. While it is often believed that estate planning must be done closer to retirement age, the best time to get started with it is upon receiving that first salary check, or at least around the age of 30 years.

Basic estate planning is less complicated, and as assets grow over the years, estate plans can be updated. To start the planning, it may be best to draft a list of the individuals that will be included. These are typically family members, close friends and business partners, if applicable. Succession planning for a small business can be included in the process. The next step is to list all valuable assets in the estate in categories based on how they must be distributed, not forgetting to update beneficiaries on life insurance and retirement accounts.

Another task would be to ensure that those left behind have access to the plans and online assets. A list of passwords, locations of relevant documents and any contingencies such as age restrictions can be drafted with as much detail as possible because there will not be an opportunity for the survivors to ask questions. Close family members or trusted friends should know where these documents are stored, and copies of the estate plans could even be left with loved ones.

Once estate plans are in place, they should not be left to collect dust. All life events such as births, marriages, divorces, deaths and business acquisitions will have to be updated at regular intervals to ensure the plans remain current. The process may seem overwhelming but could be easily accomplished with the support and guidance of an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney.

Source:, "5 Tips to Start Your Estate Planning Today", Taylor Schulte, Accessed on July 28, 2017

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