Estate planning is a very important step in one’s life. It is the process of establishing directions for how one wants their estate handled. Through testamentary documents, one can detail how to distribute their assets and property after they pass and how to care for them if they cannot care for themselves during their last moments. Though the process may be difficult to consider, you probably have a vision of how you want to be treated at the end of your days and how you want your property handled when you are gone. Without the process of estate planning, a New Jersey court may distribute your assets against your wishes. If you need an experienced attorney to guide you through the process of estate planning and draft your testamentary documents to secure your vision, contact Juan C. Velasco, Esq.
Having a will might be the most important thing you can do for your family. A will must be written and witnessed. It sets forth your wishes for how you want your estate distributed and to whom. In addition, it will establish an executor to carry out those wishes. If you were to pass without a will, a court may make those decisions for you, most often against your vision. A valid will can protect your loved ones from the possibility of litigation so they may focus on healing.
A trust is another testamentary document that also establishes your wishes for your estate. Through a trust, you can detail how and when assets are passed to beneficiaries. There are many types of trusts available to you. They fall into two categories: revocable and irrevocable. Each has its benefits and disadvantages. People often choose trusts because beneficiaries get assets quicker than through probate and some have certain tax benefits.
It is a good idea to make healthcare directives that will help your loved ones know your wishes for your end-of-life care when you cannot make medical decisions for yourself. With an estate planning attorney, you should write out your medical wishes through a healthcare directive and execute a power of attorney, assigning your attorney-in-fact to act in your place. This person will ensure that your wishes are followed. This is also called a living will, allowing for your family to follow your directions when you cannot tend to your own needs.
To ensure that your wishes regarding your finances and healthcare are properly followed, you should consider assigning someone as your attorney-in-fact, also known as your agent. Through an executed power of attorney, you will assign someone to act in your place when you cannot. This person does not have to be an attorney. He or she can be someone you trust to take authority in your place.
In order to best protect your estate and your vision for the future, you should contact an attorney to help you through the process. Juan C. Velasco, Esq. has been a legal resource for the people of New Jersey for over 25 years regarding estate planning. If you need quality legal services from an experienced attorney, contact Velasco Law Office today.