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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.

Establishing your goals

When you start estate planning, you may find it helpful to consider one goal that you want your plan to help you reach, but you can also establish multiple goals. Your plans can be versatile and comprehensive, which could allow you to cover as many areas of your life as you see fit. Some goals you may want to consider include the following:

  • Creating plans for your children's care in the event of your demise
  • Reducing or eliminating estate taxes
  • Accounting for your family's financial stability in the event of your death
  • Providing an inheritance to a loved one with special needs without jeopardizing his or her government benefits
  • Avoiding probate
  • Controlling where your assets go and how they are used after your passing
  • Planning for business succession
  • Protecting your personal assets or any business assets you may have
  • Providing instructions for you care in the event that you become incapacitated
  • Making charitable contributions
  • Ensuring that someone cares for your pets should you suffer from incapacitation or death

These examples do not represent every goal you could achieve through estate planning, but hopefully, this list gives you an idea of where to start when thinking about what to include in your plans.

Starting your plans

If you do not know everything you want to include in your plans at this time, that is fine. You can and should update your estate plans periodically. As for getting started, you may find it useful to explore the tools available for creating your plans. It will likely also benefit you to speak with an attorney who can explain the documents and their uses as well as discuss with you which tools could help you reach your goals.

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