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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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A review of estate planning basics for New Jersey residents

Many people overlook estate planning, but the importance of developing an appropriate plan for your home and property cannot be stressed enough, regardless of your income. With an estate plan, it is crucial to account for all applicable state and federal laws.

For example, New Jersey law allows an individual to sign a durable power of attorney, which gives another person with the legal right to handle your assets if you are severely injured or disabled. A New Jersey durable power of attorney can also provide you with the ability to give gifts that are tax-free, interact with the Internal Revenue Service and transfer assets, all on your behalf.

An estate plan should also include a will and a health care proxy, also known as a medical power of attorney. Developing a will is important because it allows individuals to distribute assets exactly as they see fit.

Without a will, you cannot decide to whom your assets will be given after your death. Dying without a will, known as intestacy, means that all your belongings, property and money are distributed to family members based on state guidelines. Personal relationships and preference are not considered.

For example, in some states, 25 percent of the deceased person's assets are given to the individual's spouse, and the remaining assets are divided evenly among the descendants. With a valid will, you can help ensure that your estate and property are divided between your family and friends exactly how you'd like.

Source: CNN Money, "Top things to know"

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