Five tips for successful estate planning

When it comes to estate planning, most people want to get it over and done with quickly or avoid it entirely, which is no surprise – after all, it’s about dealing with your own mortality. The important thing to remember, however, is that it’s really about much more than that – it’s a plan to provide for the people and organizations you care about when you no longer can. So when you do decide to create your own estate plan, it’s best to do it right the first time. Here are some useful tips from NJ estate planning attorneys:

  1. Start small: An estate plan can sound intimidating and it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about the different benefits that Living Trusts, Power of Attorney, medical directives and other options offer. It’s best to simply sit down and start with the most important document – Your Last Will and Testament. This will help you to focus on exactly what you want done with your assets after you pass away and whom you would like to benefit. After drawing up your Will, you’ll have a clear idea of what else should be included in your estate plan.
  2. Consider your goals: Ask yourself what you would like to achieve with your legacy. It could be something as simple as providing funds for your child’s education or it could be the reduction of estate taxes. Estate plans can be as complex or simple as you’d prefer, depending on what your goals are. Your attorney can also assist you here and explain what can be achieved through careful estate planning and how to go about it.
  3. Medical directives and Power of Attorney: Unlike your Will, these elements of your estate plan can have a significant impact on your life. A medical directive will appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, including what advanced life-saving measures you would or would not like to receive, while a financial Power of Attorney will appoint someone to represent you in financial matters if you are no longer able to do so yourself. These documents are essential, as they provide clients with control over their final wishes and quality of life, as well as providing complete peace of mind.
  4. Know your executors and trustees: These are very responsible positions that are best put in the hands of people you not only trust and have your best interests in mind, but are also capable enough to enforce your wishes in the face of any objections or outside pressure. While you can choose a family member or friend, many people choose to rather name an experienced legal professional, due to their knowledge and objectivity.
  5. Stay up up–to-date: Once you have a satisfactory estate plan, you can rest easy – but keep in mind it should accommodate any changes in your life. Divorce, marriage, having children or building your own business can have significant effects on your estate plan, so be sure to contact your lawyer to ensure that it changes in line with your lifestyle, goals and assets.

Start the estate planning process today with experienced NJ attorneys

At Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC, we have over 30 years of experience in New Jersey estate planning law. We can assist you in creating a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney and medical directives, as well as set up trusts appropriate to your specific needs. Contact us today and let us deliver expert estate planning advice to take care of all your wishes – whether your estate is big or small.

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