Perhaps the most important element of estate planning in Ocean County is actually choosing to do it. It is a decision that many American adults have yet to make (indeed, according to research information shared by the American Association of Retired Persons, 6 in 10 have no estate planning documents). Those who die without a will force their estates to become subject to intestate succession. This is a state-controlled process in which the dispersal of one's assets are regulated by the law (and not the wishes of their heirs).
When it comes to power of attorney, there are many considerations to go over before giving someone these responsibilities. Power of attorney can be immensely helpful for a number of reasons, as we have discussed on our blog. However, it is essential to identify the most suitable candidate when naming a power of attorney, and there are times when other challenges may arise as a result of this process. For example, there may be disagreement in the family over power of attorney, and this can lead to a contentious dispute.
When some people picture the type of person who sets up an estate plan, they may envision someone who is wealthy and owns a considerable amount of property. To be sure, estate plans are especially important for people in this position, but even low-income individuals benefit from estate plans. By setting up a will or creating a trust, those with low incomes are able to not only protect what they have but make things easier for their loved ones down the road. Moreover, there are other aspects of estate planning, such as power of attorney, which can be extremely important regardless of how much money one makes or their net worth.
Perhaps you created a will in your younger years. You felt you had done your duty, filed the document away and promptly forgot about it.
The process of estate planning in Ocean County is a fluid one that is not necessarily complete with the drafting of a will or other estate management instruments. Circumstances will certainly change over time, which could cause one to rethink earlier decisions and revise their estate documents to reflect their current wishes. The question then becomes which provisions are valid: those that were made initially or the revisions?
People choose to set up estate plans at different points in their lives. Some may create a trust or a will during their younger years, while others may wait until they are much older. Some people may choose to create an estate plan after the birth of their child, and retirement is another turning point in life which may result in the development of an estate plan. There are a handful of reasons why retirement is a great time to set up an estate plan, from financial changes and concerns about one's future estate to more free time.