When drawing up an estate plan, many people think about their loved ones and where they want their assets to go. They concern themselves with making sure everything is clear and concise, so as to help prevent any conflicts among family members. They are so concerned about making sure everyone else is okay and taken care of that they sometimes forget about themselves. When estate planning, New Jersey residents should not forget that they deserve legal protections too. This is not something that is just meant for one's loved ones.
What kind of personal protections can be included in an estate plan? There are many, most have to do with health care and finances. When it comes to health care, it is impossible to predict the future, and it is very possible for one to become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for him or herself. If that happens, who will take on that responsibility? By having an advance directive in place, it is possible to assign a person to this important role and provide detailed instructions for what one does and does not want done.
When it comes to finances, it is possible to assign a person to handle one's money matters. This can be done in a durable power of attorney. The representative assigned to this role will be given access to all financial accounts, have the ability to manage real estate and other investments, pay bills and pay taxes -- among other things. This is a significant role, one that should only be given to a person that one can trust to fill it responsibly.
These are just a few ways that New Jersey residents can protect themselves should they become incapacitated. There are many others. An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to explain all available protections and help one create a detailed estate plan that ensures all one's bases are covered.
Source: marketwatch.com, "This is the most important person to remember in your estate plan," Brad Wiewel, Nov. 25, 2017