Residents of New Jersey should create an estate plan while they are still healthy and in command of their faculties. If your parents have not planned their estates, it is wise to bring up the topic. Doing so can resolve issues and save a lot of time, energy, and money.
Find a way to bring up the topic
Estate planning is most likely not the usual kind of topic that you bring up at dinner with your parents. But if you can find a way to segue into such a conversation, the benefits can be enormous. If you have siblings, you should make an effort to include them in the conversation as well.
This is crucial because the time is now to clarify a number of very important points. You need to have a clear idea of how your parents desire certain assets to be distributed after they pass. This is even more important if you do have siblings. Everyone needs to know who gets what, when they get it, and why.
The more of these issues that are resolved here and now, the less potential for arguing and litigation there will be in the future. These are serious issues that can lead to long and contentious legal issues. If the estate goes to probate, it can lead to assets being distributed in a way that satisfies no one.
Take care of the most critical areas
Now is the time for you to zero in on all of the crucial areas of a proposed estate plan. You and your parents should be talking about such topics as who they will name as their healthcare attorney and Power of Attorney. There should also be a discussion regarding the contents of their living and last wills.
Perhaps the most important thing you can let both of your parents know is that they are not alone. Make it clear that you are here to listen to them and to help them in any way that you can.