Estate planning should be based on the individual needs and desires of plan creators. While many of the estate planning tools that are included in individuals' end of life plans focus on how their property will be dealt with after their deaths, some serve the important role of providing guidance on estate matters when the planners are still alive. Although it may not seem like living individuals should need documentation to support their wishes regarding their lives, incapacitation and illness can rob them of their abilities to communicate their plans and wishes. In the event of incapacitation and illness, individuals can put into place powers of attorney to help them.
Executing a will is an important legal process that can alter the way a person's estate and assets are distributed when they pass away. Because of this, some beneficiaries may be greatly enriched by a loved one's estate plan. Similarly, some who feel as though they should have benefitted from a loved one's will may discover that they were left out.
Digital assets are emerging as a new source of investment and wealth for individuals all across the United States and even the world. In New Jersey, residents may not be familiar with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and other online only resources that individuals may keep in their digital wallets. Cryptocurrencies are not physical tokens or other tangible items that holders may trade; transactions using digital assets like cryptocurrencies occur online and through secure blockchain interfaces.
When New Jersey residents pass away, the items that they owned must be properly distributed to their loved ones, creditors and other relevant parties. The things and assets that they leave behind constitute their estate and depending upon the type of estate plan that they leave the distribution of those things and assets can look very different from decedent to decedent.
It is not unusual for a person in New Jersey to have a chronic illness. Some chronic illnesses, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's will become progressively worse over time and will eventually make it difficult for a person to communicate their wishes or care for themselves. Therefore, it is very important that those with a chronic illness execute an estate plan while they are still able to do so.
Most people in New Jersey execute an estate plan with the intention that it will meet their wishes and benefit their heirs. However, a poorly drafted estate plan or an outdated estate plan can lead to undesirable complications when it comes to enforcing your wishes.
Some people in Parsippany have executed a comprehensive estate plan, including a will, trust, living will, and power of attorney. However, it is a mistake to simply file that estate plan away allowing it to collect dust as the years pass on. In fact, there are several reasons why a person will want to update their estate plan.
Families in New Jersey come in all shapes and sizes these days, and it is not unusual for a person to marry a second time either due to divorce or the death of their first spouse. Oftentimes there are children from a first marriage, resulting in a blended family with step-parents and step-children. In such situations, it is important to have a well-rounded estate plan that meets your wishes both for your new spouse and your children from your first marriage, especially if those children are now adults.
For some, it is hard to think beyond this year, let alone this month or this week. Planning for the future can be challenging because there are many what-ifs and uncertainty. While no one can be completely prepared for what is to come, there are some measures individuals in New Jersey and elsewhere can take to help protect their assets and wishes in the event of their incapacitation or death.