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New Jersey married couples can benefit from estate planning

Many people in New Jersey want to be sure their spouses and children are taken care of when they pass away or if they become incapacitated. Estate planning is the best, easiest way to ensure that happens. How simple or complex an estate plan is depends on each individual's circumstances and the level of control and protection a person desires.

Nearly everyone wants their family to receive the maximum benefit from the assets they leave behind. Therefore, one of the main considerations in estate plans is reducing or eliminating the taxes family members may have to pay upon death. Moreover, a properly drafted estate plan can protect those assets from creditors and spouses.

Some spouses and/or children are not as good at managing money or other assets. An estate plan can be drafted with provisions that restrict heirs and beneficiaries' access to assets. An individual can essentially continue to control how the assets are managed after death through the use of estate planning tools.

Estate planning deals with more than the death of an individual. The possibility of becoming incapacitated is also considered in a comprehensive estate plan. A durable power of attorney allows for the management of assets and finances, while a healthcare power of attorney allows healthcare decisions to be made when an individual is unable to do so for his or herself.

These are just some of the ways in which married couples in New Jersey can benefit from estate planning. Sitting down to contemplate death or incapacitation may not be a considered a good way to spend time, but it is necessary. Properly drafted and executed documents give both spouses peace of mind that they will be taken care of in the event of the other partner's death or incapacitation.

Source: Forbes, "Eight Common Estate Planning Objectives Of Married Couples", Lewis Saret, May 13, 2014

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