The first steps to starting your estate plan

Whether you’re single, newly married, divorced or have kids, there’s never a wrong time in life to sort out your estate plan. But what should you do right after you’ve made this decision? Here are tips for preparing to create your estate plan, from a leading NJ estate planning attorney:

  • Take inventory:

A big part of estate planning is deciding what happens to your assets in the event of your death and the best way to preserve them for your heirs. So, it’s natural that your first step is to establish exactly what  you have. Asset lists commonly include cars, banking accounts, investments (including retirement plans and insurance), property, jewelry, and sentimental items.

  • Who gets what:

The second step is to think about who you would like to name as heirs and how you would like your heirs to benefit from your assets. Sentimental pieces may need to go to specific people, you may want to ensure that there is money left to pay for your child’s education or you may want to leave your home to a specific family member.

  • Speak to an estate planning attorney:

Once you have an idea of where you’d like your assets to go, an estate planning attorney will be able to develop a strategy to ensure that these requirements are met as far as possible. This is a complex area of law: there are a lot of legal tools available that will help achieve different results for your estate, from minimizing taxes to setting up trusts and protecting assets. Your attorney will be able to go through each strategy with you to find one that meets your needs and maximizes the benefit of your heirs.

  • Look further:

Estate planning is not simply about creating a Last Will and Testament and planning for your heirs after you pass: it’s about planning for later in your life. Your attorney can assist with long-term planning for your eventual need of health care, to protect your assets or to ensure you meet Medicaid criteria. He can also assist you in terms of a Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Directives to ensure that your wishes are adhered to and that you are cared for properly when you cannot speak for yourself.

Let your estate planning attorney advise you on all your options 

If you would like further guidance on protecting your real estate assets by creating an irrevocable living trust, LLC or a Last Will and Testament, Frank R. Campisano will provide you with the necessary expert legal advice and professional insight.

In addition, he can also assist you with all other aspects of your estate plan, from drawing up medical directives and Power of Attorney documents to Medicaid planning.

For more information on setting up or changing an estate plan, please contact him at the law firm of Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC in New Jersey or visit our website at today.

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