The music legend and "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16 of pancreatic cancer. While this is certainly a blow to music fans in New Jersey and worldwide, it is also blow to her loved ones left behind, in part because Franklin did not have an estate plan at the time of her death.
When a loved one dies and was married at the time of his or her death, his or her surviving spouse will be dealing with a lot emotionally. What the surviving spouse may be unprepared for is the time and expense administering the deceased's estate will take. However, if the value of the deceased's estate is small enough and if other elements are met, it may be possible to bypass administration of the estate (probate).
Most people in New Jersey will agree that contemplating their death is anything but pleasant. Nevertheless, by executing an estate plan, you can address the inevitable by dictating who will inherit your assets and what kind of end-of-life care you prefer. However, there are important aspects of estate planning that could have a major impact on how your estate plan will be handled when the time comes.