For many of us, hearing a term like “estate planning” conjures images of wealthy people paying attorneys large sums of money to set up elaborate trusts and wills to distribute their millions of dollars when they die.
While that might be true on television, it’s not generally true in real life. Everyone, rich or poor, single or married, needs estate planning services. It’s not only about creating a will; it’s also about establishing a power of attorney, creating health care directives, and potentially setting up trust funds.
An attorney can assist you with each of these different aspects of estate planning, including:
Power of Attorney: If you become physically or mentally incapable of taking care of your financial needs and responsibilities, you will need to find someone you trust to handle your finances. This can be done through a power of attorney. This also extends to healthcare decisions. Through a power of attorney, you can appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you, or layout what your wishes are.
Create a will: You might not think you have much property worth putting in a will, but you’re likely wrong. Whether it’s your home, furniture, a Porsche or some family heirloom, you must create a will if you want your belongings to go to the right people. Without a will, the government will determine who your heirs are and distribute the property as the state sees fit.
Think about a trust: Perhaps you have a small amount of money you’d like to leave for one of your family members, but you want to control how and when they can spend it. Creating a trust is the way to do that.
In many ways, the greatest benefit of estate planning is peace. The last thing you want is for your family members to be fighting amongst each other and disputing your final wishes or how your assets should be distributed. Through effective estate planning, you can lay out all of your final wishes, so your family won’t just be guessing.
The New Jersey estate planning attorneys at Posternock Apell, PC have over 120 years of combined experience. If you’re wondering whether you need a will, a trust, or to establish a power of attorney, contact the estate planning lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC today.