Having a New Jersey estate plan in place helps you maintain control over your financial, medical and personal affairs. It may also lead to other benefits, such as your beneficiaries getting their hands on what you leave behind faster than they would otherwise. However, many people neglect to create estate plans. If you count yourself among them, know that your neglecting to do so may lead to unnecessary delays and hardships for your loved ones.
According to Bankrate, you may be able to avoid these hardships and reap certain benefits by creating a simple estate plan that has three main parts: a will, a power of attorney and an advance directive.
A will lets you say where you want your assets to go or who you want to inherit them after you die. You may leave your assets behind for a family member or other loved one, or you may decide to leave them to charity, among other options. A will also gives you an opportunity to name someone you trust as a guardian over any minor children you have.
The power of attorney
A power of attorney allows someone you designate to handle your finances and related affairs. This helps ensure that you do not rack up debts or late fees on accounts you become unable to pay due to death or incapacitation.
The advance medical directive
Advance directives let you specify what you want to happen to you medically if you suffer incapacitation and become unable to voice your preferences.
You may be able to accomplish other estate planning goals using other specific estate planning components. However, having a will, power of attorney and advance directive in your estate plan is a great place to start.