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Steps in estate planning

For some New Jersey residents, creating a will or estate plan can be difficult. They might be unsure of where to start or what questions to ask. Some might even believe that because they do not have an excess of wealth that estate planning is unnecessary. However, that is not the case. Without a plan, the family of the deceased might spend months or even years in court sorting out their loved one's affairs and assets. 

It may be helpful for some people to first take stock of what they already have. Have they already created a will, and if they have not, then why haven't they? A will can help to specify who is to care for any minor children as well as how assets, including money received from insurance settlements or the family home, is to be divided. For those with pets, an estate plan can also help the family to determine what will happen to the animal after the owner's death. 

Another important question that one might ask is how easily others might find important documents. In addition to knowing where to find the deceased loved one's last will and testament, it may be helpful to know where other documents such as checkbooks, bank statements or tax returns are located. Even if the family has access to the deceased person's will, without access to these documents dividing the deceased person's assets can become difficult. 

New Jersey residents who have questions regarding estate planning could benefit from speaking with an attorney. A lawyer may be able to help answer these questions in a way that the client easily understands. An attorney would also be able to help clients clearly state how their assets are to be handled after their deaths. 

Source: wisebread.com, "5 Estate Planning Questions Everyone Should Ask", Dan Rafter, March 5, 2018

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817 East Landis Avenue
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