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Why bother with estate planning?

It may surprise many New Jersey residents to find that a significant percentage of Americans do not have any kind of will. Many may believe that they first need to acquire a certain level of wealth before creating a will. However, estate planning can benefit people of any financial standing.

First, as many may already know, an estate plan can help to guarantee that a person's wishes are carried out. This includes who that person's assets are given to or how they are to be divided among multiple beneficiaries. Without a will, some family members might spend their time fighting over who gets which assets or how much they each believe they are entitled to receive. 

An estate plan can also help to protect a person's assets. This might include preventing a person's assets from being intentionally reduced in order to qualify for programs like Medicaid. It can also help to ensure that any taxes or fees applied to the estate are taken care of without causing additional stress to a person's family.

Creating an estate plan and keeping it up to date is, for many people, a very important part of life. In addition to providing peace of mind to the writer of the will, these plans may also help families of the deceased by eliminating the need for guesswork and assumptions regarding the wishes of the deceased. New Jersey residents who wish to discuss their estate planning options could benefit from speaking to an attorney. A lawyer may also be able to help clients to alter an existing plan and keep it up to date. 

Source: Forbes, "The 3 Reasons Why People Do Estate Planning", Joel Johnson, May 21, 2018

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