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Ocean County Estate Planning Law Blog

Factors to consider when choosing your power of attorney

An estate plan gives individuals the ability to designate the allocation of their property and person should they pass away or become incapacitated. Whether an individual has a few assets or a large estate, a plan may be beneficial and avoid confusion for the family during a difficult time.

If you are creating an estate plan or revising a current one, having a power of attorney in place may be helpful. Before you make your decision, there are a few factors to consider:

The Importance of a Living Will

In New Jersey, and most other states, the rights to self determine how you're to be treated when you become seriously ill is very important.  Living Wills or an Advanced Directive for Healthcare is a very important document.  Living Wills or an Advanced Directive for Healthcare is a very important document to accompany your Will.

Two simple estate-planning documents millennials should have

If you are young, single and focused on your career, estate planning is probably something you do not think about often, if ever. While you do not need a complex plan at this point in your life, you should think about the basics.

There are two simple documents everyone should have, including millennials: a durable power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive. Both activate in the event you become incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself.

5 tips for getting your estate plan under way

Like many people, you may be procrastinating about sitting down with an attorney to map out your estate plan. It may seem to you a huge undertaking.

Putting an estate plan together is really about collecting your thoughts and getting organized. Here are five tips to help you move in the right direction.

Find a power of attorney that works for your parents

Your parents may have achieved senior citizen status, and the subject of powers of attorney has come up. These agreements can take many forms; understanding how they work in certain situations will be helpful when you begin to talk with your parents about their future care.

Your parents can assign powers of attorney as part of their will. They may choose you or someone else, but the person they select as their agent should be someone they feel will act in their best interests.

You can name a guardian for your child in your will

You may not have a lot of money or many assets, but drawing up a will is important. If you have a minor child, a will can and should address the matter of guardianship.

If you do not designate a guardian and you pass away, the court will appoint one for your child, and it may be someone you never would have chosen.

How Surrogate Court handles probate

You may believe that probate is a complicated, onerous, difficult process for an executor to manage and, in general, a procedure to avoid. While issues can arise, settling an uncontested estate is usually a fairly straightforward task.

If, after you pass away, your estate is not contested, an attorney will assist in the administration of probate by taking your last will and testament to the Surrogate Court.

Why is estate planning important for millennials?

Someone brought up the subject of wills recently, and asked if you had one. You said no. Your friend chattered on about trusts, powers of attorney and medical directives, but you lost interest in the discussion.

After all, you are not yet thirty, your focus is on your career and, at this point, you have not even found the person you want to marry. In your opinion, estate planning is not something you need to think about until you are middle aged. However, age does not matter. What matters is assets and what happens to them after you leave this world.

What happens if you do not leave a will?

Making a will often falls into the category of tasks many people put off indefinitely. After all, you have so many things to take care of right now, and focusing on what happens after your passing can feel somewhat morbid. However, no matter your age, drawing up a will should be on your list of priorities.

New Jersey's intestacy laws provide rules for distibuting proeprty in the absence of a will. Before distribution, the state deducts taxes, debts and exemptions from the estate. Any property you owned jointly with your spouse automatically goes to the spouse. Property such as an insurance policy, which comes with a designated beneficiary, goes to that beneficiary. If you leave a spouse but no parents or descendants, everything else goes to the spouse.

How to survive a bidding war to buy your dream home

So you have finally found the home you want to buy, but it appears everyone else in town has the same idea. When the demand is high and the supply low in the real estate market, you have to use some ingenuity to emerge as the winner in a bidding war. You are also going to need some experts on your side, including a knowledgeable real estate agent and an attorney experienced in dealing with the various legal issues that arise in a real estate transaction.

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