Although 2020 is well underway, there are many in New Jersey who are still dragging their feet about their New Year’s resolutions. If one of those resolutions was to begin estate planning, it is understandable why someone may hesitate. Building a complete plan can be complicated and requires one to consider many unpleasant things. However, by examining the many benefits a well-drafted estate plan can provide for one’s family, an individual may find the motivation to begin the process sooner rather than later.

Because there are several key elements of a complete estate plan, it is important for someone to obtain as much information as possible about the options and which components are most suitable for his or her needs. For example, while a will can certainly settle many questions about the distribution of assets, it can also designate someone to be the guardian of any minor children.  On the other hand, trusts are reliable instruments for allowing funded assets to bypass probate and for protecting one’s heirs from certain tax ramifications.

Some of the most difficult situations involve an individual who is no longer able to manage his or her finances or health care decisions. A complete estate plan can include financial and health care power of attorney designations to relieve loved ones of any uncertainty during difficult times. An advance health care directive can also provide peace of mind for loved ones in these situations by outlining the wishes of the incapacitated individual.

With the assistance of an experienced New Jersey attorney, those considering beginning their estate planning can obtain information and answers to their questions. An attorney can guide them in creating estate plans that fit their unique circumstances and family dynamics. In this way, they may look back on 2020 as the year of successful resolutions.