What Exactly is an Estate Plan?

When most people think about estate plans, their mind automatically jumps to the concept of a last will and testament, and they often think about scenes from TV shows and movies where characters read a list of “who gets what.” Although the basic will that most people are familiar with is often part of an estate plan, a complete estate plan will often include much more, and will depend on an individual’s goals.

Why Should I Create an Estate Plan?

Some people create estate plans to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of, to ensure the orderly distribution of their assets, or to save money on taxes. Everybody is different, and each person has different goals. This is why it is important to make sure that your wishes are not only known, but also documented and properly executed so that they can be carried out in case something happens to you. One of the easiest ways to ensure this is to contact a lawyer who can help you develop your estate plan.

What is Included in an Estate Plan?

There are many parts to an estate plan, and depending on the situation, your estate plan may include any of the following items:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Medical Directives
  • Revocable / Irrevocable Trusts
  • Marital Trusts
  • Trusts for Minors
  • Plans for Children / Child Care

You may need all or just a few of these documents. You may also need specialized documents that will address your individual needs. What items need to be included in your estate plan will depend on your specific needs, but having a lawyer can help make the process of identifying and creating these documents much easier. A lawyer can also help you make sure that all the necessary formalities required by New Jersey law are met.

How Can I Create an Estate Plan?

Meeting with a lawyer is often one of the first steps in creating an estate plan. When one of our attorneys meets with a client to discuss estate planning, our primary goal is to meet your specific needs. We will want to learn more about your family, finances, and your overall goals.  This information will help us better understand your goals.

There is no reason to put off planning for the future. Our attorneys are ready to help you today. Contact us today to begin the planning process, and we will help you create a customized plan that meets your individual needs and goals.