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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Never too early to start estate planning

It may be true (and, in many cases, unfortunate) that most people wait until they get older before they begin estate planning. We wrote earlier this week about a case of unexpected incapacitation, and the reality is that an incapacitating event can happen to anyone at any age.

With that in mind, younger New Jersey residents may want to begin thinking about drafting the proper documents that allow you to take control of your future and protect your assets for yourself and the benefit of loved ones.

It is never too early to start estate planning. Maybe 20- and 30-somethings don't yet need a trust to protect assets, but a will should be in anyone's estate plan. (A trust may be more appropriate down the line.)

Every year, too many New Jersey residents die without wills, and our state's laws of intestacy determine how assets will pass to loved ones. For example, in New Jersey, the law says that a person's surviving spouse can receive 25 percent of the estate and 75 percent of the balance of the deceased spouse's assets. There is also a monetary minimum and maximum a surviving spouse can receive. The deceased spouse's parents are entitled to the rest of the estate.

Not everyone wants that arrangement, however, and effective estate planning is the best way of ensuring that a person's wishes are carried out.

Here are some questions young people should ask when they begin planning their estates:

  • Who should receive what parts of my estate?
  • Who should be the executor of my will?
  • Who will make my health care decisions in the event that I can't?
  • Should that person be the same person who handles my financial decisions if I become incapacitated?
  • Does my will correspond with my other estate planning documents, such as retirement accounts, insurance policies and joint bank accounts?

These are all good questions for estate planners of any age.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Biz Brain: Estate planning for a 20-something," Karin Price, Jan. 6, 2014

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