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New Jersey estate planning: Plan ahead for potential problems

Most people who are in the process of estate planning try to anticipate any problems that may arise as the estate is being settled. However, even the most thorough estate plans may leave some unresolved issues that can make things difficult for a grieving family. New Jersey residents may do well to double check their estate planning details to ensure that some common problems can be avoided.

It may seem like common sense, but making sure that names appear the same way on all estate planning documents can save major problems down the road. Documents should also be scanned for typos in birth dates or social security numbers, since this is also a common issue that comes up when settling an estate. Estate plans should be reviewed periodically to ensure that all papers are up-to-date.

Individuals who own property in multiple states might consider taking legal steps, such as setting up a trust, to keep their loved ones from having to deal with probate in each state, which can cost them a considerable sum of money. A plan should also be made for belongings that may be difficult to sell or have indeterminate value, such as a unique collection. Those who own valuable items, such as jewelry, should make a plan for those as well, to keep family members from squabbling over them.

An estate plan provides instructions to loved ones and friends how to administer assets, so it requires careful planning and attention to detail. New Jersey residents may need advice during the estate planning process to ensure that they make the right decisions and address any potential problems. Leaving behind an accurate and up-to-date estate plan can provide family members with some peace of mind as they deal with their loss.

Source: Fox Business, "Give the Gift of Planning," Jennie Phipps, Dec. 17, 2012

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Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
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