When planning for the final disposition of your estate in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, there are a few things you'll want to consider: who do you want to give your assets to, and under what conditions? Do you have any preference for how your funeral should be done? Do you have any particular wishes regarding end-of-life care? These questions, and more, should all be taken into account.
The drafting of a will, which simply states what you wish to be done with your property after death, is typically one of the most critical parts of an estate plan. Of course, it's rarely the only one. There are many other things you might want to include, depending on your objectives.
For instance, a reliable estate plan will include a living will, which gives your family members and healthcare professionals instructions about your medical care, to be followed in the event you become incapacitated. You should also include your funeral arrangements, and your preference with respect to organ donation.
For anyone who has children who are still minors, it is very critical to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable occurs. You should think of a family member or extremely close friend who you know would be willing and able to take care of your children, and designate them as the person who would take custody. Of course, it's critical to discuss this matter with that person before you truly do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey?
This typically depends on your individual goals and priorities, your age, health, and the nature and quantity of your assets.
For instance, if you are in your 20's and unmarried, an estate plan likely does not need to be on your priorities, unless you are very ill, or independently wealthy.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey is absolutely necessary: adults who are not married, but have a life partner who they'd like to provide for in the event of death. There are many rights that automatically attach with marriage, such as the right to inherit if a spouse dies without a will, the right to make medical decisions for the other spouse if they become incapacitated, etc. If you and your partner are, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to get married, you will have to take various steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
There is another considerable group of people who would benefit from having a good Berkeley Heights, New Jersey estate plan: the elderly and those with a lot of money really need to consider making a comprehensive estate plan as soon as possible. While this necessarily includes facing some uncomfortable realities, it is critical and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Berkeley Heights, New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey can involve some convoluted legal and financial issues, it is necessary to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.