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McHugh & Macri
Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents since 1978.
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Leaving Your Legacy: Why an Estate Plan is Essential

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

New Jersey residents should be aware of the necessity of having an estate plan. It is never too early to put one in place, and no one has too little wealth to need one. An adviser recently noted that the most frequent mistake people make is assuming that they are too young to plan their estate, so they neglect planning at all. Having an estate plan guarantees that one's assets are distributed the way one sees fit.

There are several tips and strategies regarding estate planning that can be of benefit to those who are unfamiliar with the process. First, focus on where the money will go, not on where it won't go. That means paying more attention to allocating the wealth among one's heirs than on avoiding taxes.

A quality estate plan includes, at a minimum, a will, a power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. Those of greater wealth might include a trust. The focus should be on making the plan a thoughtful one that is right for you and your heirs.

Because creating an estate plan is not a simple process, it is advisable to enlist help in crafting one that meets your financial needs. There are numerous legal documents involved in the process, and the stakes are very high, so enlisting the assistance of an attorney is a wise choice. A qualified estate planning attorney will have expertise with each of the documents you might need, and he or she will help you focus on asset protection planning. An attorney will also be familiar with which laws are applicable in your state or jurisdiction. Estate plans are necessary, and an attorney can help you make yours a good one.

Source: Fox Business, "Why You Need an Estate Plan", Donna Fuscaldo, June 21, 2013

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