Many parents in New Jersey want to make sure their estates pass to their children in equal portions. The problem is, many of them try to make it work out without going through the proper estate planning process. This may result in one’s estate being divided in a way that one did not intend, and could even cause one’s beneficiaries to endure probate litigation.
Recently, a mother in another state sought advice on this exact issue. Her estate, as she described it, is small. She does have money in two accounts that she would like passed on to her two daughters, though. She wanted to know if naming her daughters as beneficiaries on her accounts would help her accomplish her goal and help them avoid probate.
Her plan may work, but it all comes down to how she does it and if her daughters are happy with it in the end. If either feels she is not given her fair share of their mother’s estate, probate litigation may be unavoidable. By putting together an estate plan, she can go beyond just naming beneficiaries. She can make sure her wishes are properly documented. It will give her daughters real information to go off of when the time comes to administer the estate.
Too few New Jersey residents have proper estate plans in place. Many people feel they are unnecessary, or they just never get around to putting one together. Failing to go through the estate planning process may only cause hurt and drama among loved ones in the end. Those who would like to make sure their wishes are documented and that their beneficiaries are appropriately named can turn to an experienced attorney for assistance creating a sound estate plan that covers all legal bases.