Create a Lasting Legacy with Your Last Will and Testament
A lifetime of hard work and accomplishments is usually accompanied by an accumulation of assets and responsibilities. You provide for your family, your community, and for the deserving causes you support. But what happens to those who rely on you after your death? You control what you do with your assets in your lifetime; however with thorough planning you can do the same after your death as well. The good you do needn’t end with your death. You can and should plan for your legacy, so that the efforts of your lifetime will continue to do good things for the people and causes you care for, long after you’re gone.
Functions of Your New Jersey Will
Your will, more formally known as your “last will and testament,” will let you dictate the way your assets will be distributed after your passing, what arrangements you prefer for the asset protection and upbringing of any minor children, and who will handle your affairs when you have died or become incapacitated.
These are some functions of a well thought out will:
- It can transfer your property to family, friends, and/or causes and organizations.
- It can name a guardian to assume care of your minor children.
- It can name a conservator to handle the property you leave to your minor children.
- It can designate an executor whose job it is to ensure that the terms of your will are carried out according your wishes.
- It can designate funds to ensure that your pets are cared for and appoint a caretaker for them.
Is a Will Necessary in New Jersey?
If you die without having made a will in New Jersey, your estate will be divided up according to the state’s laws of intestacy to your nearest relatives, usually your spouse and children. If you have neither a surviving spouse nor children, your parents or your grandchildren are next in line to inherit, and on to your brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, and cousins, or to other relatives by blood or marriage. If no relatives can be identified, the state will take ownership of your property. Wouldn’t you rather make the decision where your assets will go, rather than having the government decide?
For most people, although not required, it is a good idea to have an experienced New Jersey estates and trusts lawyer help you inventory all of your property and decide how you want it to be distributed. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the best estate planning strategies to protect your assets, minimize taxes to your heirs, and achieve the goals you’ve set for your estate. A well-drafted will can prevent delays, stress, and misunderstandings by making it clear exactly how you intend for your assets to be distributed. If your assets are extensive and complex, the services of a good attorney to prepare your will are indispensable.
Experienced New Jersey Lawyers for All Your Estate Planning Needs
If you live in Atlantic or Cape May County and have not yet written a will, or if you need to update or to make changes to an existing will, call to make an appointment to speak with an attorney who is prepared to get to know you and understand all that you hope to accomplish in planning for the distribution of your estate. At Barnes Law Group, LLC, our attorneys, are experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable in all aspects of estates and trusts law and will work closely with you to see that your wishes are clearly delineated in a well-thought-out and well-written will. For the peace of mind that come from knowing that your loved ones and the charities you believe in will be taken care of when you’re gone, according to your wishes, call Barnes Law Group, LLC today. For your convenience, we have offices in both North Wildwood and Egg Harbor Township.