Most anyone in New Jersey that has drafted and executed an estate plan has done so with the hopes of making things easier on their loved ones after they pass away. However, depending on how long ago the estate planning was done, it may end up making things for difficult. For this reason, it’s may be a good idea to review an estate plan periodically.
The basic estate documents are a will, healthcare power of attorney and durable power of attorney. Trusts are used when more instruction and supervision is needed for either the assets or the beneficiary. All of these documents require the person making them to choose a person or persons to serve as executors, attorneys-in-fact and trustees. Then there are bequests that were made to specific people.
It is inevitable that some people are going to move out of a person’s life whether by design or death. Reviewing an estate plan periodically will ensure that people who are no longer in the life of the person drafting and executing the documents are replaced. This will help that person’s family when the documents are needed. There is also the possibility that laws may have changed since the documents were first done. If the documents conflict with current law, there could be issues for those left behind.
New Jersey estate planning doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be current. The documents need to comply with all current state and federal laws, and should benefit and be administered by people who are still in the maker’s life. Otherwise, all of the effort the maker put into making the estate plan could be for nothing.
Source: Wicked Local Amesbury, Making Cents: Review estate plans now, rest in peace later, John Napolitano More, Aug. 26, 2013