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Estate planning in New Jersey: Things to know about wills

People often wrongly assume that estate planning is only for seniors, the elite, and the wealthy. No matter how much wealth you own, it is wise to plan your estate. Life is unpredictable, and it makes no sense to leave everything to fate. It would help if you considered meeting a South Jersey estate planning lawyer who can explain your legal options. A will is one of the flexible estate planning tools, but there are exceptions to what one can mention in their will. Here’s more on what you need to know.  

You can decide who gets your assets/wealth

If you don’t have a will at the time of death, your heirs will get your wealth as per the state laws in New Jersey. Like most people, you may have your wishes with regards to your assets and wealth, and a will allows you to bypass intestacy laws. Also, if you have more than one heir, your wealth will be divided equally among all (in the absence of a will). However, you can finalize a will, which allows you to decide who gets what from your estate, and if you want someone to not get anything at all, you can do that too. Also, wills can be used to name the guardians for children. 

Limitations of wills

Wills is one of the many estate planning tools. You cannot use the instrument to deal with properties outside your estate. If you want to save on estate tax obligations, a will is not the right instrument for you. Also, you can use a will to distribute the properties that are in your name. In other words, if you have a property in a trust, a will cannot be used as a tool to assert your wishes. 

Should you consider hiring an estate planning lawyer?

The short answer is yes. You have to consider hiring an attorney who specializes in estate planning and can advise you on your will and other tools. Don’t shy away from asking relevant questions related to the process, and keep in mind that not all estate planning lawyers are the same. Find an attorney with years of experience and credible work behind them, and you should meet in-person to know them better. 

It is never too late to think of estate planning. If you have hard-earned money, take the time to plan your estate with an attorney on your side. 

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