Too many people make the mistake of assuming that you only need estate planning after you have accumulated significant resources or when you have children. Everyone at all ages, however, can benefit from estate planning. This is true even for single individuals and unmarried couples.
Estate planning is about more than putting together your will to distribute property after you pass away. In fact, some of the most challenging situations that pose legal issues are those that happen while you’re still alive. For example, do you have a plan for who can make financial or legal decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated? While no one expects these scenarios to happen, one car accident or long-term care event could render you unable to make these decisions for yourself, even temporarily.
Without proper planning, you put your family members and loved ones in a difficult situation. A loved one who is not legally allowed to visit with you in the hospital, for example, may struggle with unnecessary frustration if something were to happen to you. Thankfully, there are documents that can help to address all of these concerns and these goals can be easily accomplished by setting up a meeting with an estate planning attorney. Having these documents on file means that you have a plan in case you need it while you’re alive and it makes things easier for your family if something does happen to you.
Your estate plan should be an evolving set of documents designed to help you address critical illness or disability issues, plan for distributing your property after you pass away, and to minimize the implications of taxes. Setting up a meeting today with a New Jersey estate planning attorney can help you address one or all of these goals, and forming a relationship now with someone you can trust means that you’ll be able to update your materials easily as your plans change, too.