Purposeful Advocacy for New Jersey A Path Forward for Your Finances, Your Family, & Your Future CONTACT US

Estate Planning Checklist | What to Know

April 12, 2021

Below you will find a list of some of the different documents that will allow you to create a comprehensive estate plan that meets the needs of you and your loved ones.


A will is one of the most important documents you can create. It allows you to declare how you want to divide your estate and your assets amongst your loved ones. This ensures that your wishes are followed and that your loved ones are cared for in the event of your passing. There are a lot of misconceptions about wills. Some people believe you only need a will if you are of a certain net worth or if you have children. The reality is, anyone over the age of 18 who owns any property or assets can, and should, create a will. But, it is important to know that a will is only one part of a complete estate plan.


Trusts are extremely useful because there are trusts for so many different situations. A trust is a contract between a third party and an estate. The person who creates the trust is referred to as the trustor. The person who receives the assets of the trust is the beneficiary. There is also a third-party involved. This third-party, known as a trustee, manages the trust on behalf of the beneficiary. Some of the trusts you can create include:

  • Asset protection trusts

  • Charitable leads trusts

  • Generation-skipping trusts

  • Supplemental needs trusts

  • Charitable remainder trusts

  • Special needs trusts

  • Life insurance trusts

  • Testamentary trusts

  • Qualified personal residence trusts

  • Pet trust

  • Inter Vivos trusts

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney enables you to choose who will handle important financial matters for them, once they can no longer do those things on their own. This is typically granted to someone you trust, as they will be managing most, if not all, of your major financial affairs.

Healthcare Directive

An advance health care directive will allow you to establish certain guidelines regarding your health care matters if you lack the physical or mental capacity to communicate your wishes. This is important because everyone has different beliefs and views when it comes to their end of life care. Once you decide you’d like to establish an advanced health care directive, you may appoint a loved one to handle these decisions if you are unable to do so on your own.

If you are ready to begin the estate planning process, contact our firm today.


Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.