In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding family law, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
Who Requires a New Hampshire Estate Plan or Will?
It is a common mistake for New Hampshire residents to assume that estate planning is something only the wealthy or the elderly should engage in. In actuality, the benefits of estate planning extend to all NH residents. The act of contemplating one’s own mortality is not pleasant, but failing to do so can create negative complications and consequences that cannot be remedied after one has passed on. Life is unpredictable, but our professional and experienced New Hampshire estate planning attorneys can provide assurance that your loved ones, estate, and assets are protected even after your passing.
If a New Hampshire resident were to pass away without will that has been legally and validly executed, then the remaining estate and assets will be divided according to the intestacy laws of New Hampshire. Simply put, the state of New Hampshire will be determining who receives what property and monetary funds. Unfortunately, New Hampshire state laws are not always in accordance with the deceased’s personal wishes. Your estate is comprised of assets that you have spent your entire lifetime accumulating. They should be dispersed according to your wishes.
Along similar lines, the failure to appoint a designated guardian for minor children, in the event of a parent’s untimely demise, can also create myriad of problems for family members that are left behind. If a guardian is not designated for minor children, the family courts of New Hampshire will appoint a guardian for them. In one’s will, a desired primary caregiver can be designated for children. In doing so, a person, should they pass on, will be sparing their loved ones additional involvement with the courts, emotional strain, and additional monetary expenses.
While each resident of New Hampshire can benefit from a prepared estate plan, there are certain life events that can trigger one’s consideration for creating a will and other relevant documents, including the following:
§ Birth of a child
§ Purchase of real estate
§ Marriage or divorce
§ Medical diagnosis
§ Upcoming vacation
§ Purchase, sale, or starting of a business
§ Loss of a loved one
No two individual estates are alike, and the estate planning laws of New Hampshire can be complex. Under the current laws of New Hampshire, a person does not have to engage the services of an NH estate attorney to settle their estate, but it is strongly recommended. A single mistake can cause the settlement of your estate to drag out for months, prolonging the grief of your loved ones.
It is a common misconception that estate planning only involves the creation of a will. Estate planning can actually be quite complicated, involving elements of business, medical, tax, and financial planning. Creating a will is the first step in the estate planning process, but it order to adequately meet your needs, other documents will need to be created and filed within the appropriate channels. Overall, estate planning is a process. In addition to the distribution of your assets, estate planning also enables one to create a plan for their future care in the event that they were to become unable to care for themselves.
When creating an estate plan, there are a number of issues that must be addressed, including:
§ Defining what your assets are and what their approximate value is.
§ Who you would like to receive these assets and at what time.
§ Who shall be placed in charge of managing these assets.
§ Designating a guardian for any minor children in the decedent’s care.
§ Determining who will make medical decisions for the will’s owner if they cannot.
§ What should be done with one’s remains after they pass.
Our experienced New Hampshire estate planning lawyers will work closely with a client to identify the essential components of their estate, prepare a plan for dealing with any probate issues, and determining what the best plan for that specific client is. Our specific goals include addressing specific issues, like family business succession, asset protection, estate tax savings, and the avoidance of probate. In addition to the planning of estates, other services our firm provides include:
§ The preparation of wills
§ The creation of revocable and irrevocable trusts
§ Postmortem planning
§ Establishing power of attorney
§ Living wills
§ And assigning durable powers of attorney for the purpose of health care decisions.
Please contact our firm today for a free consultation. Life is unpredictable, and tomorrow may become too late.
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