Estate planning is an important process in defining what will happen at the end of life. While it’s never a pleasant topic to think about, it is vital. Estate planning is the process of stating who will receive your assets once you are gone. It also provides information about your wishes for end-of-life care. At Bowne Barry & Barry, we have years of experience being an estate planning attorney in East Brunswick, NJ. We have helped many clients gain peace of mind knowing that their assets will be distributed as they wish and that their end-of-life care choices will be respected. Read on to learn more about estate planning.
What Does Estate Planning Include?
Estate planning comes down to many different legal documents that give information about what will happen to your assets after you pass away. In addition, there will be health care directives that provide information about your end of life care. Here are the following documents that we can help with and what each document does:
- Wills – a will provides information about how your assets will be distributed after you pass away. It also notes who will be guardians of your children if they are minors.
- Professional Wills – professional wills are for those who own practices, like doctors or lawyers. These documents provide instructions about how the practice will be handled after the owner passes away.
- Trusts – a trust gives another party the authority to handle your assets.
- Powers of Attorney – a power of attorney gives another person the authority to act on your behalf. They can make both financial and medical decisions.
- Advance Health Care Directives – this document provides guidance about your medical care. It tells doctors what you want and don’t want in regard to procedures and medication that could prolong your life. This includes decisions about ventilators, feeding tubes, and organ donation.
- Living Wills – a type of advanced directive that gives specific instructions for end-of-life care if you are unable to communicate decisions on your own.
Estate Planning Attorney
All these documents have a lot of legal jargon that can make them difficult for someone to construct on their own. This is where your attorney can help. At Bowne Barry & Barry, we’ll help you figure out which estate planning documents are right for you and your situation. We carefully prepare these documents so that they are tailored to you and your needs. Once the documents are set, you can relax, knowing that when the time comes, you will be legally prepared. In addition, we help clients through the probate process. This occurs when a loved one dies. Their will needs to be validated, and then the assets will be identified and distributed. At Bowne Barry & Barry, we handle this process in an efficient manner to take stress and anxiety off of family members after the death of a loved one.
When Should I Start Estate Planning?
While estate planning can happen at any age, a lot of times people don’t think about it until they are older. In actuality, it is a good idea to start estate planning when you are young. While it may not make sense for a 30-year-old couple with young kids to figure out how they are dividing their assets (as they might not have many), it does make sense to create a will stating what would happen to the children if both the mother and father were to pass away. You want to make sure that if you and your spouse were to die, then your kids would go into the hands of the guardians that you picked.
In addition, as a younger person, it is never a bad idea to have an advanced health care directive. While your chances of dying are much lower than that of an elderly person, what would happen if you become incapacitated in a car accident, unable to make medical decisions for yourself? As a younger adult, it can be very difficult and almost traumatic to think about the end of your life. Instead of thinking of estate planning as a depressing process, think of it as an opportunity to help out the people you love. Once the process is done, you won’t even have to think about it. You can relax because you know a plan is set in place.
What Happens if I Don’t Have an Estate Plan?
If you pass away without an estate plan, the state steps in, and a judge will divide your assets. Every state has its own way of doing this, but the bottom line is you don’t want this to happen. When you pass away, you want to know that your assets or the guardianship of your minor children are going into the hands of the people you choose instead of the state making this decision for you. Look into estate planning sooner rather than later so that this does not happen in your situation.
Estate planning is something that many people push off until later in their life. While it can be a depressing process to think about, it is crucial to help protect your loved ones in case something were to happen to you. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about estate planning. Stop there! The first step is to hire an estate planning attorney in East Brunswick, NJ, like Bowne Barry & Barry. We have many years of experience helping clients through the estate planning process. Our goal is to make the process as easy and as comfortable as possible. We know that it is a tough thing for people to think about, which is why we are here to help you put your mind at ease. For more information about the estate planning and the services we provide, contact us today.