Creating an estate plan in New Jersey gives you an opportunity to exert more control over your assets both now and after you pass. Depending on the structure of the plan, it may be possible to avoid probate, which means that assets will likely be passed to beneficiaries sooner after your death.

It’s never too early to start making your plan

Many people believe that you have to be a certain age before it’s worthwhile to start putting an estate plan together. However, the truth is that you can benefit from creating a will or trust at any age. In addition, you should consider adding a medical directive as well as a financial power of attorney document. Once your plan is in place, you should review it on a regular basis to ensure that it still meets your needs.

Make sure others are aware of your estate planning goals

It is important that your family understands what you’re estate plan is trying to achieve. It is also important that they know where to find important documents or other information that can help them ensure that your final wishes are respected. Important documents could include the deed to a home, the title to a car or paperwork related to a bank or brokerage account.

The benefits of avoiding probate

Probate isn’t a drawn-out or complicated process for all families who have to go through it. However, for some, it can take several years for a probate case to be resolved, and an estate could lose up to 10% of its value after accounting for various costs and fees. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to consider creating a living trust to hold as many of your assets as possible.

Regardless of how old you are or how wealthy you are, it may be a good idea to think about creating an estate plan. Basic estate planning steps such as creating a will or trust may make it easier to retain control of assets or have greater say in who raises your children.