Many people in New Jersey believe that the distribution of property after they pass away is a fairly straightforward process. They assume that their spouse inherits most of everything, and then when they pass, the bulk goes to the children. If you have only married once, then this simple scenario may work out for you. But if you have remarried after having children, you could wind up disinheriting them by accident.
Plan for all eventualities
Estate planning should be carried out by all individuals regardless of age or financial status. Even if you do not have a lot of financial assets, there are always things that will be left behind, including pets, cars, personal belongings, etc. If you do not have a will, it will be left up to the probate courts to determine how all of this is distributed after you pass away. Probate is a lengthy process that can traumatize your loved ones.
Prepare the proper documents
Your attorney can help you determine what documents you need to prepare and how to prepare them so that your property is divided equitably. For instance, you may own a home that your children grew up in and want to pass it on to them after your death. However, your new spouse may still be living there at the time of your death. How do you make sure he or she is not displaced while ensuring that your children will get their house when your spouse passes on? These are the kinds of questions that those who remarry after children will need to figure out, and an attorney can assist with that.
Everyone should prepare the following documents so that their wishes are carried out at the time of their death: financial and medical powers of attorney, last will and testament, advanced health care directives, a living trust and business succession planning documents for business owners.
While remarriage is declining for most age groups, it is on the rise for those in the 55+ age group. If you are part of this growing trend, you may wish to take the advice provided here and contact an attorney to make sure your estate plans are in order.