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Middlesex County Estate Planning and Bankruptcy Legal Blog

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.

Holiday spending often leads to bankruptcy

If you're among many New Jersey residents who celebrate one or more holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year's, you may also be among those who purchase gifts for friends and family or who spend money traveling, dining out, hosting parties or on other festivities. That's all well and good if you have the cash to foot the bill; however, in many cases, people use their credit cards, thinking they'll pay it off at the end of the month and then they don't.

Leaving a balance on your credit card when a pay cycle ends typically prompts increased interest charges. If you go through several cycles without paying your entire debt, you stand to lose a lot of money in interest alone, not to mention you will still have outstanding debt on your card -- or cards. You may want to avoid several things during the holidays if you hope to avoid serious financial problems. It's also good to know where to seek support if a problem does arise.

Making plans to care for your special needs loved ones

For New Jersey families caring for loved ones with special needs, the future can be a complex and daunting prospect. Through certain estate planning tools, you can make sure your family has the right plans in place to provide for specific members of your family after your passing. One way to do this is by creating a special needs trust. 

A special needs trust is a specific type of estate planning tool that will allow you to set aside and preserve certain assets for the benefit of a loved one who cannot care for himself or herself. While you cannot predict what will happen down the road, this step can allow you to have a measure of security regarding the care of your loved one. If you do not have plans in place, you would be wise to take quick action to do so.

Are property concerns keeping you from filing for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a viable option that allows for New Jersey consumers to deal with their debt in an organized and efficient manner. However, many people who could benefit from this choice do not move forward because they have concerns over how this process will affect their personal property, specifically Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You may also wonder if filing will mean that you have to give up certain things that are important to you. 

Chapter 7 also goes by the name liquidation bankruptcy. This means there is a liquidation of certain assets in order to pay off as much of the outstanding debt as possible. While there are things you may not be able to keep, chances are that you will be able to retain most of your personal property. You do not have to let fears and misconceptions keep you from moving forward with a step that could be good for your financial future.

Differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13: Let's clarify

Perhaps you have determined that your current financial crisis necessitates a need for immediate debt relief. You might be able to relate to thousands of others in New Jersey whose finances took a big hit after incurring unforeseen medical bills or losing a job. Maybe you tried to get things back on track by cutting spending and selling some of your assets.

If that didn't work, you may have discerned that a more definite plan was in order. Once you decided to file for bankruptcy, you may have learned that there are several different types and are unsure which option is most viable in your particular situation.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be a smart choice for your business

New Jersey business owners understand how difficult it can be to run a successful company. If you are going through a tough phase in the life of your business, you may find yourself facing a significant amount of debt and limited resources with which to deal with it. If this is the situation you are in, you may consider the benefits of filing for bankruptcy. 

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may not be your first choice, but it could be a practical way to deal with your debt and allow your business to continue operations. There are many benefits to Chapter 11 for businesses in financial trouble, including allowing you to effectively deal with outstanding financial obligations in an organized manner. As a business owner, you would be prudent to always be aware of your legal options.

Livestock owners have a unique estate planning concern

Many estate plans are drilled down to naming who will get what assets. For people who own livestock, there is a need to ensure that those animals are cared for after the owner passes away. This isn't always easy, but it might be a better option than the beloved livestock going to the slaughterhouse or being sold to the highest bidder.

One thing to remember is that not everyone is going to be able to meet the needs of livestock. Horses, cows and other farm animals need special care. If the animals have been used for breeding or are valuable, they might have very specific needs.

Are you a long struggler when it comes to debt?

One of your tactics for dealing with difficult situations in life may relate to just sticking it out. After all, no bad time lasts forever, right? While this type of approach may work in some cases, it may benefit you more to take proactive measures to address certain predicaments, especially when it comes to your finances.

When many people first accumulate debt balances, they often believe that they can keep their credit use under control and pay off the balances as needed. Of course, a number of circumstances could upend this type of plan, and a substantial amount of debt could accrue in a relatively short period of time. Still, you may think that trying to handle the financial issues on your own over time would be better than filing for bankruptcy.

Estate administration duties can be difficult for loved ones

The estate administration duties that must be done after a person passes away can sometimes be complex. Trying to determine what debts must be paid and in what order, handling tax returns and finding assets and heirs can all be hard to do when the emotions from the loss are still so raw.

When you are trying to create your estate plan, make sure that you take those factors into account. Your estate administrator needs to be someone who will be able to handle those tasks, even when he or she is dealing with your death. We know that this can be something difficult to think about, but making sure that the person you choose is ready to take care of matters might help.

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