Add Estate Planning to Your New Year’s Resolutions List
Now that we are in the New Year, and back to work, let’s talk about our New Year’s resolutions. Many people set out to tackle the same old resolutions once and for all—stop biting their nails, exercise more, quit smoking, help out around the house, lose 20 pounds. But what about your estate plan? When is a good time to update your will? Have you even created an estate plan?
Here come the excuses—the holidays are stressful, the relatives are in town, it’s too cold. Now that we are back to work, we say things like, there is no time, I need to catch up, my favorite TV shows are back, who has time to put a will together?
Let’s face it, though. The holidays are over, the relatives are home, and in New Jersey, this winter has been pretty mild in comparison to last year’s chilling polar vortex (I am not trying to jinx anything). So, whether you have an estate plan that needs updating, or have yet to create a plan, following are a few reasons to add estate planning to your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2015:
- Help loved ones— The holidays were a great time to spend with friends and family. One of the best ways you can ensure your loved ones are taken care after you are gone is to have a sound estate plan in order. At some point before the New Year, you should take the time to sit down with your family and discuss your estate plan. Remember, if you die without a will or estate plan in place, your assets and belongings are divided up in accordance with NJ’s intestate succession laws. Life insurance proceeds, funds in an IRA, 401(k), payable on death bank accounts and property owned in joint tenancy will pass to any surviving co-owners or beneficiaries you named, regardless of whether you have a will.
- Save money— Yet another reason to include estate planning in your New Year’s resolution is to avoid the probate process. After you pass away, the last thing you want is for your heirs to spend time and money validating your will. An attorney can help you set up a thorough estate plan that bypasses probate or allows for a simplified probate process.
- Keep your affairs private— Without a proper estate plan in place, what you owned when you were alive and who your belongings will go to after you die becomes public record. You can ensure the privacy of your legacy is maintained by taking the time to create a sound estate plan.
When it comes to estate planning, procrastination is common. While planning your estate may seem like a sad task, it can actually bring you peace of mind. You probably have many questions about the estate planning process. Fortunately, with the help of a legal professional you can gain a better understanding of wills, trusts and other aspects of NJ estate planning. For more information, contact Alec Borenstein, Esq., at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-236-6457 at your convenience.