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Three things to consider when doing estate planning

Although death may be a subject that most people would rather avoid, preparing for one’s passing is a good idea. Getting one’s affairs in order can help bring peace of mind to that person as well as to his or her loved ones. Therefore, proper estate planning, including drafting wills and trusts, is something that probably everyone in New Jersey should consider.

There are many things to think about when doing one’s estate planning. According to one financial planner there are three things that most people should have when doing their estate planning: a will, a living will and a durable power of attorney. According to this same financial planner, people with small children are those who are most in need of a will. It is important that a will that clearly states how one wants the custody of his or her children to be handled. If this is not stated, then the fate of a person’s children could be left in the hands of a judge.

A living will is also important if a person is injured and needs someone else to determine his or her affairs. This person should be the one named in a living will. Having a durable power of attorney is also important should one become unable to make decisions. Choosing the right person to carry out one’s affairs can ensure that a person’s wishes are properly fulfilled. Without naming a durable power of attorney people risks losing control over their assets and how they are awarded to the beneficiaries.

There are many things a person needs to plan for when preparing for the future. Visiting with an attorney and taking the time to create a will, a living will and a durable power of attorney are things that probably everyone should consider.

Source: The Bergen Record, “Neumann: Why you need a will,” Randy Neumann, June 7, 2013

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