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Middlesex County Estate Planning and Bankruptcy Legal Blog

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.

Is fear of credit repercussions holding you back from bankruptcy?

You may have been toying with the idea of filing for bankruptcy for some time. You may think that you can no longer go on living with the burden of debt you currently face, but for some reason, you still have not been able to move forward with filing a bankruptcy petition. You, like many other New Jersey residents, may hesitate due to the effects the process can have on your credit.

Certainly, filing for bankruptcy can have impacts that last a considerable amount of time, but it is also important to remember that the effects will not last permanently and that you can take steps to rebuild your credit soon after you successfully complete your case.

Job loss can quickly cause financial problems

You lost your job. No matter if the dismissal was sudden or slightly expected due to issues with the company, you undoubtedly still felt a great deal of disappointment when your employer let you go. Even if the layoff had nothing to do with your job performance, you may still feel as if you somehow failed.

These feelings are certainly understandable, as losing a job can be a major shakeup in anyone's life. Now, you may begin to feel worried about your financial affairs and how you will meet your daily needs without the income you once earned. Possibly, taking somewhat small steps to address your financial affairs may help, but it is also important to remember that more significant options are available.

When was the last time you took a look at your estate plan?

If you have to think too hard to answer this question, it's probably time for a review. It's a good idea to take out your estate plan once in a while to make sure it still reflects your current goals and wishes.

Outside of a general review, your estate-planning documents need to keep up with the changes in your life. Certain events should automatically trigger you to take a look at your plan.

Is a short sale or foreclosure in your future?

When you bought your house, the mortgage payments were manageable. You may have had a smooth-running budget that allowed you to cover all your bills and even set something aside for home improvements in the future. However, as happens with many homeowners in New Jersey and elsewhere, something set you back. It may have been one major event like a job loss or a series of small expenses that quickly got out of control. Now you are behind on your mortgage.

It doesn't take much to fall behind on a large payment like your mortgage. Before you know it, you are thousands of dollars delinquent, and the mortgage lender is offering you the choice to try a short sale or get ready for foreclosure. Do you know which is best for you?

Even if you don't think so, you have reasons for estate planning

It is common for people to avoid thinking about their eventual demises. Many New Jersey residents may think that it is morbid to consider such events, and as a result, they avoid the topic completely. However, if you avoid it for too long, you may miss out on making important end-of-life decisions through estate planning.

Of course, in addition to avoiding thoughts of death, you may be among the numerous people who simply think that you do not need an estate plan. You may not consider yourself particularly wealthy, or you may not have children that you need to make certain arrangements for in the event of your passing. Even so, you can still benefit from creating an estate plan.

Time may be of the essence when dealing with credit card debt

You may feel that swiping your credit card is the easiest payment option under a variety of circumstances. Whether you are making the most of a rewards program or simply cannot stand to carry cash, this alternative payment option can come with its benefits, but there could be a catch.

Whether it begins with a month where you forget to make a payment or if a change in financial circumstances leaves you struggling to keep up, falling behind on a credit account can be disastrous. As your troubles continue to mount, you could be wondering just what will happen to your account.

Identifying a goal may help start the estate planning process

Estate planning is a great way to get your affairs in order and to provide information for serious events before those events take place. Each New Jersey resident's estate plan will differ, and you should tailor your plan to your specific needs and goals. In fact, deciding the goals you want to achieve with your plan could help you get started.

Because many estate planning tools exist, you can address a considerable number of aspects relating to your life within your plan. Of course, if you do not have much information on estate planning and the available tools, you may not know what type of goals you should consider.

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