New Jersey Estate Planning: A Quick Look At Wills

It is never too early to plan your estate. If you are having a hard time understanding the entire estate planning process, you should definitely seek help from an expert. This is something that would concern you and your loved ones, and it is better to be safe than sorry. An experienced and reliable New Jersey estate planning lawyer can guide you at every step. For your help, here’s what you need to know about wills, which is one of the basic documents you need.

The need for a will

A will decides how your estate is divided after your death as per your wishes. You can also decide who raises your children in case you pass away. You can write a simple will independently without an attorney, although that may not be the best idea. There are also online services and software solutions that allow you to create a will, which will be legally binding on your death. Things included in a basic will –

  1. Decide how your properties and assets are divided between people of your choice
  2. Name a guardian for your minor children
  3. Name someone to manage the assets that you have left for your minor children
  4. Name an executor who will be your representative to ensure that the will is enforced

Is a basic will enough?

A basic will should suffice if you are under 50 and don’t have a lot of valuable properties or assets. However, as you get older, you may own more, and therefore, you may have to consider a more elaborate estate plan, including a living trust and a will.

Understanding probate proceedings

Wills have to go through the probate process. Almost all wills have to go through probate, which is a time-consuming and confusing process. In general, probate proceedings can take anywhere between six months to a year, and the costs could be as much as 5%. Also, the beneficiaries are unlikely to get anything significant until the probate process is over.

Get an estate planning attorney

Your estate plan involves more than just a basic will, especially if you have made enough throughout your career. There are legit ways to deal with estate taxes and protect your assets from probate, and an estate planning attorney can explain the options. They can also ensure all documents are appropriately handled without common mistakes. Before you make significant decisions, speak to a lawyer.

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