If you own anything at all, you should consider having an estate plan. Estate planning is for everyone, and it makes sense to understand the various documents and tools that you can possibly use to protect your estate. Also, it is not just about passing your assets to your heirs, but estate planning also allows you to plan for long-term care and contingencies and decide about medical treatments and future needs. Talk to a New Jersey estate planning attorney to know how you can get started. For your help, here is an overview of Wills vs. Trusts.
Your Will is a document that determines how your assets would be distributed after your death as per your wishes. You can appoint an executor for your Will and choose guardians for your minor children. You can also mention instructions for funeral and death. States have their own estate planning laws, and creating a Will doesn’t have to be complicated in most states. For instance, in NJ, your Will is a valid legal document if it was signed before two witnesses. Wills are public documents and must go through the probate process, which is the process of validating the Will.
You can also consider a trust, where you can transfer your assets and determine how the Trust would be managed. You can appoint a trustee for your Trust who will make major decisions and take care of the Trust for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. A Will only comes to effect after the demise of the concerned person, but a Trust is effective immediately after the assets are transferred. You can also consider having a Living Trust and appoint yourself as the Trustee. Trusts don’t have to go through the probate process.
Consult an attorney
Should you consider creating a trust or a will? It all depends on what you own and the complications of your assets. You should consider talking to an estate planning lawyer who can advise you on the key aspects. A good attorney will ensure that you avoid common mistakes and follow the best estate planning practices. Depending on your age, you can also seek advice on Medicaid planning. Most lawyers in NJ offer a low-cost or free consultation for clients, and you can talk to the lawyer and determine the estate planning tools you may need.
Don’t delay calling an attorney about your estate planning worries. You need genuine and unbiased advice on the matter.