Estate planning is important for anyone in New Jersey of any age. However, for those who have Alzheimer's disease or dementia, it is important to begin estate planning as soon as possible, so they can advocate for themselves before their disease makes it impossible to make decisions.
Many people in New Jersey have opinions about what type of end-of-life care they'd like to receive. It is not always a pleasant topic to contemplate but it is one a person may feel strongly about. They can take steps to ensure their wishes are followed with regards to medical care if they are near death. This can be accomplished through the execution of a living will and an advanced medical directive.
A person in New Jersey might take the wise step of executing a will, but that is not the only document they should have in their estate planning arsenal. This blog has discussed the importance of including a living will, health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney in one's estate plan. However, there are other elder law documents a person might want to consider drafting, to make sure their estate plan meets their wishes.
While it is not exactly pleasant to think about, New Jersey residents might want to take the time to consider what end-of-life care they want when they are near death and who they want to make health care decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated. It can help to legally document these preferences, so that they are upheld when the time comes. To do this, people will need to execute an advance directive. New Jersey recognizes two types of advance directives: instruction directives and proxy directives.
Some people in New Jersey may think that the only way for them to pass their assets on to their loved ones is to create a will. However, a trust also allows a person to pass down their assets for future generations. Trusts have some advantages that people who are going through the estate planning process will want to keep in mind.
When a person's parents reach an age where they need help with their daily care activities, oftentimes their children step up and serve as caregivers. They do this out of love for their parents and, in general, do not expect to be paid.
Our nation's population is aging. According to the Social Security Administration, men in the United States may live to age 84 on average and women may live to age 86 on average. However, while people in New Jersey may have a will or trust in place, many have not addressed end-of-life care, even though according to one source 70 percent of private bank clients who live past age 65 will eventually need long-term care. However, just because people haven't executed a long-term care plan doesn't mean they do not have opinions about their end-of-life care. It can help to have an understanding of long-term care planning so that a person can execute the proper legal documents that establish their preferences with regards to end-of-life care.
Advance directives are legal documents that indicate what medical care a person wants if they are incapable of expressing their wishes. They are important documents to include in your estate plan, because they document your preferences in a legally binding manner should you become incapacitated. New Jersey elder law recognizes two types of advance directives.
As a person ages, they may reach a point where they can no longer care for themselves. They may need help with daily care activities or they may need in-home health care. Often, a family member steps up and takes on the role of caregiver. While this is often an act of love, it can be confusing if the caregiver does not know what the person's wishes would be. Therefore, people in New Jersey should consider executing the following documents while they are still able, to provide guidance to their caregivers in the future.
People in East Hanover may have heard of the phrase power of attorney, but may not know exactly what this term means. A power of attorney is a legal document a person executes that dictates who will be able to make legal decisions on behalf of the person should the person become incapacitated. The person executing the power of attorney is the principal, and the person chosen as power of attorney is the agent. The two main types of power of attorney are a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. The person executing the power of attorney will determine what their agent will and will not be able to do.