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Middlesex County Estate Planning and Bankruptcy Legal Blog

A special needs family member could benefit from a specific trust

If your New Jersey family cares for a loved one with special needs, you understand the complexities and costs that come with this responsibility. You may worry about what will happen after you are no longer around to take care of your loved one, but there are ways that you can plan for his or her care long into the future. There are specific estate planning tools that could benefit you. 

One of the ways that you can plan for the care of this specific family member is through a special needs trust. This allows you the opportunity to set aside money and protect assets that will ensure he or she has care and support. A will is not necessarily sufficient to protect your interests when it comes to planning for the care and support of a special needs individual.

Pursuing relief from debts by seeking the facts about bankruptcy

If you are constantly unable to keep up with your monthly monetary obligations, like many others, you could be experiencing the consequences of dealing with the burdens of debt. Overwhelming amounts of debt can leave you in dire financial straits, but with numerous outlets of relief to consider, you may be uncertain how best to proceed.

In your pursuit of relief, perhaps you chose to explore bankruptcy, but certain aspects of the process could be giving you cause for concern. However, there are certain myths surrounding bankruptcy, some of which could lead you to avoid considering it a viable outlet of relief entirely.

What is the purpose of a will in an estate plan?

Almost all adults have heard that they need a will as part of their estate plan. What many adults might not realize is that a will isn't always the end-all-be-all tool to get assets where you want them. Instead, the will is only one tool that you can use.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a will. It simply means that you need to learn about the purpose, function and limitations of a will before you start working on one.

Take a lesson in estate planning from baby boomers

Baby boomers are getting older and many of them will end up with chronic health issues. There are some interesting lessons that everyone who is younger than this generation can learn from these remarkable individuals. One of the primary lessons that you need to pay attention to is having an estate plan ready.

You might not even think about the need to have your health care directives in place today, but this is one aspect of planning that you certainly need to take from baby boomers. As you watch these individuals go through their medical trials, the need to have a power of attorney for a health care designation and a living will in place becomes evident.

Know the reasons to challenge a will before taking action

Going over the estate plan for a loved one is sometimes a challenging event. This is especially true when the plan is completely different from what you think it should be or from what you discussed with the person before they passed away. We understand that the shock of learning this might be more than what you can handle while you are already dealing with the death.

There are times when you might be able to take action to challenge the will. This is only done in specific cases, so you should make sure that your case meets the requirements before you do anything. Typically, you will have to be someone who has an interest in the outcome of the will. This means that you are either someone who is named in the current will, was named in a previous will or would have a claim to the assets if the person died without a will.

Think beyond the will and trusts for your estate plan

While many people think that estate planning is a chore, there are some amazing benefits to getting your affairs in order now. You can't focus on only getting the will written out. There are several other things that you need to include in your estate plan.

Of course, the will and any trusts you establish are the cornerstones of the estate plan. You can pass on assets to your loved ones, friends and even charities through these measures.

Could a living will benefit your estate plan?

Estate planning allows you to cover many bases relating to issues that could arise near the end of your life or after your death. Many individuals may think that an estate plan only provides information about how to distribute assets after a person's passing, but that is far from the reality of this process. As you work to create a comprehensive estate plan, you may wish to consider how it could apply to your health care near the end of your life.

A living will in particular can play an important role when it comes to certain health care decisions. You may have heard this document referred to as a health care directive, but the two terms pertain to the same document. Generally, you can utilize this directive to address your medical preferences in certain situations.

Should I leave the same amount to all of my kids in my will?

One of the more difficult dilemmas for parents when making out their wills is whether or not to leave the same amount of cash and assets to each child. In a perfect world, the answer would be unequivocally, yes.

But we live in reality, which is far from perfect. There can certainly be valid reasons to divide your assets equitably and not equally.

What happens if you die without leaving a will?

There's an old saying that the only two things you can be sure of are death and taxes.

Frankly, most of the time you can avoid the taxes -- at least when it comes to inheritances. However, that's only if you have addressed the other issue: dying.

Could you benefit from filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Almost everyone can understand what it's like to experience financial trouble from time to time, but you may find that your financial woes extend far beyond what you can ever manage on your own. Like other New Jersey consumers, you may not be able to manage your debt and catch up on your payments.

When facing this type of precarious financial situation, you would be prudent to consider the benefits of bankruptcy. While this step is rarely a person's first choice, this option could allow you the opportunity to secure a better financial future. Depending on the types of debts you owe and your objectives, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the right option for you.

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