Think you do not have anything to leave behind? Think Again! (Part 1 of 4)

We hear it time and time again. People considering whether or not to have estate planning documents done, but stopping short of following through because they think “I really do not have anything to leave behind” or “There is no need right now, I only have one bank account anyway”.

While that may be true right now, it may not always be true throughout your life, and having proactive estate planning documents can come in handy before it really is too late.

Consider this: You currently may have a few assets that you do not believe have much value. But what happens if an unfortunate event happens in your life where you pass on but your Estate comes into a large amount of money via a settlement from an accident? Do you really want to leave who inherits your assets up to the laws of New Jersey? Having estate planning documents can help you and your estate be prepared for the future and can help prepare for the unexpected.

This is precisely why estate planning is so important, even at a young age. There may be someone specific you would want to inherit the settlement, or, sometimes more importantly, someone who you don’t want inheriting from your estate. If you do not have a will directing who is to inherit from your estate, that decision is taken out of your hands and placed in the hands of a state statute.

But you don’t just pass down cash when you pass away. There are more assets that would be a part of your estate than you likely think. Your car, your home, your computers, your collectables, all are items that you can choose to pass to certain people when you pass away.

There are generally three important documents in an individual’s estate plan. First, is the Last Will and Testament. Second, the Living Will (Healthcare Power of Attorney). Finally, there is the Power of Attorney. This article, and the next few to follow, will discuss each of these instruments and provide a general overview of each to give you an idea of the considerations needed when creating estate planning documents.

Are you just getting married, or maybe having children, or buying your first home, or even going on vacation? These are all important times and life moments where you should consider updating your estate planning documents, or, if you haven’t already, creating estate planning documents. Estate planning allows you to dictate how you want things to be distributed after your death. So before you think that estate planning may not be worth the time or that you are too young to do so, consider all your different life moments coming up, and think again!

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Immon Shafiei

About the Author

Mr. Shafiei focuses his practice in the areas of estate and tax planning, estate administration, small business representation, business succession planning, elder law, and probate litigation. Mr. Shafiei represents national and regional lending institutions and other credit issuing entities in the areas of commercial litigation, collections, bankruptcy, work outs, and foreclosure in litigation and arbitration matters. He also practices in the representation of individuals, small businesses, and large corporation in complex commercial and estate litigation matters.

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