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Estate planning should be a top priority for New Jersey singles

Most single individuals don't think of estate planning and estate administration as being a priority so early in life, but some experts say they should consider it seriously.

Financial planners from New Jersey and across the country point out that single people can accumulate significant wealth and assets early in life. However, they often fail to consider what will happen to those assets in the event that they die or become too ill to manage their own affairs. Estate planning can help ensure your wealth is distributed in the way you prefer.

Yet, planning for the disposition of accumulated wealth can make life easier for loved ones after a person has died. The question of who will carry out the wishes after the person is deceased or becomes incapacitated should be addressed.

Estate planners suggest a number of documents to complete an after-death plan. First, a will is needed. This spells out what is to happen to your assets and makes guardianship provisions if you have any young children.

The durable financial power of attorney is next on the list. This document specifies who will handle your finances if you become too ill or incapacitated to manage them by yourself.

A medical power of attorney document is recommended as it appoints a person to make medical decisions for you if you cannot communicate them on your own.

A living will is also suggested. The living will defines what the limits are as far as heroic measures to save your life if you become incapacitated or fall victim to a chronically degenerative condition.

Finally, be sure to name beneficiaries for your retirement plans and insurance policies.

Source: HeraldNet, "Single? Estate planning should still be a priority," The Dallas Morning News, 19 June 2011

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