Many people take great care when it comes to their long-term physical health, but many of those same people are not so savvy or proactive when it comes to their long-term financial health. “Estate planning is essential to the long range financial health for individuals and couples. But many people who neglect proper estate planning can pay a high price for their inattention to important issues,” says William J. Garces, an estate planning lawyer in Newark.
Estate planning and the transfer of wealth from one spouse to another, or to designated beneficiaries can be complicated and so it makes sense to hire an attorney to make sure you don’t make mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars or more down the road. “We see lots of people who make mistakes when it comes to their estate. One of the more common ones is creating a plan but then failing to review it on a regular basis. Situations change. Things like births, deaths, divorce or other major life changes probably mean you should update your estate.
At a minimum, we advise formally reviewing your estate at least every five years,” adds Garces. Procrastination in general, is also an issue. Many people don’t even take the first step in developing an estate plan until a death or disability occurs. No will or family trust in place can leave the fate of assets to the judgment of a court rather than carrying out specific directives for assets.
Another common mistake is choosing the wrong person to handle your estate. Sometimes the person you think is best equipped financially and emotionally to be your executor is not always the best choice. You want someone who can be honest, objective and is able to handle the demands, both emotionally and in a timely manner, to execute your wishes. Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq is a full service New Jersey law firm with offices in Elizabeth, Freehold, Hackensack, Newark, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield and Trenton.