The first step in creating a proper plan is to thoroughly understand the potential consequences of going without one. In the event of your death or incapacity, not having a plan could be incredibly traumatic and costly for your family, who will be left to deal with the mess you’ve left behind. While each estate and family are unique, there are some things most likely to happen to you and your loved ones if you fail to create any estate plan at all.
Your family will have to go to court
If you don’t have a plan, or only have a will, you may be forcing your family to go through probate upon your death. Probate is the legal process for settling your estate, and even if you have a will, it’s notoriously slow, costly, and public. But with no plan at all, probate can be a true nightmare for your loved ones. Depending on the complexity of your estate, probate can take months or even years to complete and require bonds to be posted. And like most court proceedings, probate can be expensive. Yet the most burdensome part of probate is the frustration and anxiety it can cause your loved ones. In addition to grieving your death, planning your funeral, and contacting everyone you’re close with, your family will be stuck dealing with a crowded court system that can be challenging to navigate even in the best of circumstances.
Your money and assets may not go to who you want
If you die without a plan, the law decides who gets your money and your assets, and this can lead to all sorts of problems. If no living relatives can be located, your assets go to the state. Meeting with a New Jersey Estate Planning attorney for a free consultation can help you make a plan.
You have no control over who will raise your children
If you have young children, it will be left for a judge to decide who cares for your children. And this could cause major heartbreak for your children and for your entire family. Naming legal guardians won’t keep your family out of court, as a judge is always required to finalize the legal naming of guardians in the event of death or incapacity of parents. But if it’s important to you who raises your kids if you can’t, you need to give the judge clear direction. Our New Jersey Estate Planning Attorneys can help you work out a guardianship.
You have no control over your medical, financial, or legal decisions in the event of your incapacity
An estate plan includes appointing someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t, and to manage your finances and bills if you can’t. Incapacity places a larger burden on your loved ones as they struggle to help you. You can complete these documents by meeting with a New Jersey Estate Planning attorney
It is never easy to sit down and deal with these things. But we know death is a certainty at some point. Contact us today so your family can spend time grieving and not with the court process.