Many couples are under the impression that if they don’t have any children, they don’t really need an estate plan. However, the reality is that everyone should have an estate plan – if you’re a legal adult and you own assets, no matter their value, an estate plan is vital. Here is some advice for drawing one up in this situation, from a leading estate planning attorney in New Jersey.
Won’t Everything Just Go to My Spouse Automatically?
Firstly, it’s important to address the main reason why couples with no kids don’t have estate plans – because the law says that, in the event of a spouse’s death, their assets go to the surviving spouse. It sounds simple, but the process is more complex – especially as telling someone what you want to happen isn’t legally binding. Your assets will still have to go through probate, which can take up to a year before your spouse can access them. This could leave them in a dire financial position, as it affects shared assets too. The process can be challenged by others who feel they have the right to inherit, which can delay the process even longer and mean that your assets go to people you wouldn’t want to inherit. It’s simpler, easier and better protection for your spouse if you have an estate plan. Here’s what to consider:
- Medical and financial decisions: Estate plans are not just about death; they’re about protecting you in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. Healthcare directives and financial Power of Attorney documents will map out your financial and medical care decisions in detail. This prevents stress on your spouse and family who may be unsure of what you would want under these circumstances and prevent challenges to your care and finances.
- Inheritance: Most couples want their spouse to inherit in the event of their death, but there are often additional considerations. What would you want to happen if both of you passed on? What if your spouse passed on years later or remarried and you want family heirlooms to go to back to your family rather than passing to theirs? What if you’d like to provide for a family member as well? Or if you’d like to make a gift to a charitable organization close to your heart?
Comprehensive Estate Planning Assistance for Every Situation
At Sedita, Campisano and Campisano in New Jersey, estate planning attorney Frank Campisano is ready to assist you with all your estate planning needs – whether you need to make a business succession plan, a personal estate plan, Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, a Living trust or to minimize inheritance tax on your estate.
Contact us today and let us deliver expert estate planning advice to take care of all your wishes – whether your needs are big or small. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.scclegal.com/