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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

What should I do before I die?

There was a popular song a few years back by Tim McGraw encouraging people to live like they were dying. That sentiment – – to make the most of every minute of your life – – has a led many to create “bucket lists” of things they want to do and experience before they die. While bucket lists are a popular part of today’s culture, they become particularly important to people facing life-threatening or life-shortening conditions.

New York and New Jersey estate planning attorneys encourage people to add estate planning to their bucket list. This is good advice for everyone regardless of their health status.

The peace of mind that comes from having a last will and testament prepared, especially when providing legal guardians for any minor children, is priceless. Medicaid planning and trusts can help protect your life savings from creditors and nursing homes, qualifying you for government benefits if long-term nursing home care is needed someday while safeguarding the financial future of your loved ones.

Comprehensive estate planning also includes  in addition to death. We never know when disability will strike, so having documents in place like powers of attorney and/or healthcare proxies can make all the difference when a sudden illness or accident intervenes. The documents allow you to appoint trusted agents to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so.

Wouldn’t experiencing the bucket list items—like skydiving and Rocky Mountain climbing and even riding a bull named Fumanchu– be even more enjoyable if you knew your affairs were in order?

Interestingly, a funeral home in California recently hosted a workshop on everything people would ever want to know about death–including estate planning issues—in a light-hearted effort to reduce fear, encourage preparation, and start important conversations. The well-attended workshop may just become a local annual event.

Contact Merlino & Gonzalez for your estate planning needs

If you have any questions about estate planning, or would like assistance with an initial estate plan or with modifying an existing one, the law firm of Merlino & Gonzalez can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Staten Island, New York and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we help clients in both states in all aspects of estate planning and estate administration, as well as real estat

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.