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Middlesex County Estate Planning and Bankruptcy Legal Blog

Are you ignoring the signs that your debt is out of control?

If you struggle each month to pay the minimum due on all your debts and bills, you may console yourself by saying that many others are in the same situation. You may do your best week after week and still find you are barely treading water where your finances are concerned. In fact, you may wonder how close you are to sinking.

It is not always easy to know how close you are to the edge when you are spending your energy trying to keep your creditors at bay. In the back of your mind, you may know that one setback could bring everything crashing down. You may find it helpful to recognize some of the indicators that you might have too much debt to be financially safe.

Estate plans benefit young families, too

One dangerous myth about estate planning is that creating a plan is something only senior citizens need to do. If you are not close to retirement, you may believe you have no need to plan your estate. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and such misinformation could leave your family unprotected if something should happen to you while your children are still young.

Estate planning is more than deciding who will get your belongings after your die. It is something almost everyone should do, especially if they have others who depend on them for care and support. If you have recently welcomed a child into your family, now is an ideal time to carefully consider how you can provide the most complete protection if the unthinkable happens.

Filing for bankruptcy doesn't mean losing everything

There are many inaccurate assumptions about bankruptcy. Some in New Jersey may believe that this process will leave them destitute and without personal property, but that is not the case. Bankruptcy may not be your first choice of ways to deal with your financial struggles, but it may actually be the best way for you to deal with certain types of debt once and for all. 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is liquidation bankruptcy, which means that you may lose some of your personal assets. However, you will likely be able to keep many of the things that are important to you. Bankruptcy law provides several exemptions for applicants, which means that you will be able to discharge certain types of debt without losing all of your assets and property.

What tools could help you create a comprehensive estate plan?

Having an estate plan can mean different things to different people. Some New Jersey residents may think that having a will is enough to get their wishes across and that they do not need to bother themselves with doing anything else. Others, like you, want to create a comprehensive plan to make sure that your wishes are as clear as possible.

While there is nothing wrong with just having a will if a person believes it covers his or her wishes, an estate plan can go far beyond just considering after-life affairs. As a result, you may want to consider certain planning tools that you may not have before.

Have you planned how to spend your tax refund?

In New Jersey and across the country, many people are gearing up for tax season. Are you expecting a substantial refund? Have you already begun thinking about how you will spend it? The average person can likely expect to receive several thousand dollars in tax refunds this year. There are numerous ways to use such monies, and some will simply tuck their refunds into savings accounts and forget about them.

Perhaps, you're not one of them, however. It's common for people to want to splurge when they receive large tax refunds. Maybe you'll take a short vacation or make a down-payment on a new car. Then again, with consumer debt at an all-time high in the U.S., you might be leaning more toward the idea of using refunded tax monies to pay off debts.

Are you experiencing the negative emotional effects of debt?

Many people face struggles in life. They may have family issues, relationship problems, health concerns or financial hardships that make their lives more difficult. For you, your debt problems have gotten to a point where you feel constantly overwhelmed. If so, you are not alone in that feeling.

Money problems can cause a number of emotional issues for those affected by serious debt. At first, you may have thought that you had your financial matters under control, only to look up one day and find that you have a tremendous amount of debt. Maybe creditors are calling, trying to collect, or maybe you simply do not have enough money to meet even your basic needs.

Misconceptions could keep you from taking important legal steps

Estate planning can be a complex process, and there are many reasons why New Jersey readers avoid it. Whether you are not sure if you even need an estate plan or you don't know where to start, it is in your interests to know what steps you should take in order to fully protect your long-term interests. What you don't know or don't understand can hold you back from important steps you need to take.

Misconceptions about estate planning can ultimately result in exposure to certain risks and problems in the future. If you don't understand certain things or have assumptions about what types of protection you may need, it is beneficial to seek appropriate guidance. An assessment of your case can help you see what estate planning steps can be useful for your situation.

Consumers with steady income may qualify for Chapter 13

Searching for information on how to handle overwhelming debt can often be overwhelming itself. You may have come across various debt relief options like debt settlement, debt consolidation and bankruptcy. You may even have seen ads for companies claiming that they can get your debt wiped out in no time.

Unfortunately, numerous scams involving debt relief are out there. You may want to trust that someone could help you get out from under your debt burden in the blink of an eye, but in most cases, finding debt relief takes work. Plus, not all options are as helpful as some may lead you to believe.

A fireproof safe may be worth using to store your estate plans

When creating a comprehensive estate plan, you will need to make many decisions about various life- and estate-related details. You will likely need to determine who will receive your assets after your passing, who could be in charge of making important medical and financial decisions on your behalf should the need arise, and who would care for your children if needed.

Because estate planning can be an emotional and challenging process to complete, you certainly do not want anything to happen to your documents now that you have signed your papers and called your plan complete for now. Keeping your original records out of harm's way is another important aspect of planning.

Certain mistakes could derail your estate planning efforts

Estate planning is a smart step for just about everyone, regardless of the size of the estate and one's income level. Making plans for the future is not easy, and it can be difficult to make choices regarding important legal, financial and medical issues that may not affect you for years to come. Despite these things, it's a good idea to have a plan in place.

It may surprise you to learn that there are mistakes that could derail your entire estate planning efforts. It's in your interests to ensure that you have a strong estate plan and that you avoid issues that could cause problems down the road. Even a small, common misstep during the planning process could cause issues for you, your beneficiaries and your loved ones in the future.

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