It can be complicated to think about the future, especially when it comes to making plans that pertain to your own mortality. This is why many people avoid the estate planning process. If you have an estate plan, you are already ahead of where many New Jersey adults are, but you may not need to stop there. There are often many reasons why it's necessary to take a second look at existing plans.
You should review even the best and strongest of estate plans from time to time. This is especially important when you experience major changes in your life, such as divorce, remarriage, the birth of a new child and other significant events. It may be necessary to make adjustments or to take steps to improve the plans you already have in place.
What should you do?
One of the most significant things you can do to improve your estate plan is to change beneficiary designations for certain accounts. For example, if you went through a divorce, you will want to make sure that your former spouse is not still your life insurance beneficiary, and remove his or her name from your accounts. You have the right to decide what happens to your money and assets.
Additionally, if you do not have life insurance, you will want to make sure you include this as part of your estate plan as well. This is an important step in making sure your loved ones have what they need in case of your unexpected passing.
Consider a trust
A trust is a smart estate planning tool for individuals who want to set aside assets for a specific use or protect funds for a specific person. This type of tool will also allow a person to pass on his or her assets without the need to go through probate. The need for a trust depends on the size of your estate and your individual objectives with your estate plan.
Through certain estate planning tools, you can also give back. You can include terms that will allow you to give to charities or organizations of your choice after your passing. This provides you the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and do something worthwhile with your wealth.
The choices you make for your estate plan are deeply personal. If you have questions about how you can improve your plan or what you can do to make sure you have the right protections, you may want to speak with a legal professional about your goals.