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Preparing a comprehensive estate plan serves several important purposes. From protecting your assets to protecting your loved ones from unnecessary costs and uncertainty, there are numerous reasons why it makes sense to have an estate plan regardless of your financial resources and family circumstances. By working with an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney, you can put together a plan that meets your needs efficiently while also maintaining the flexibility required to make changes in the future.
When putting together your estate plan, it is important to think critically about all of the various issues involved. While preparing your estate plan does not have to be (and generally should not be) an overly-complicated process, you will want to make sure you address all of the issues that need to be addressed in order to make your plan as comprehensive as possible. For most people, these issues include:
You have worked hard to earn what you own, and you want to make sure your assets will be available to you and your family for decades to come. When preparing an estate plan, there are several ways that you can achieve this objective.
One option that many people choose is to place their assets into a revocable trust. A revocable trust is a versatile estate planning tool that takes assets out of your personal estate (which protects them from creditors in the event that you go into debt or get sued) while also allowing your family to avoid probate after your death. While there are restrictions on when and how individuals can shield assets from their creditors, our New Jersey estate planning lawyer can ensure that your assets are protected to the fullest extent possible.
How do you want your assets to be distributed when you die? Do you want your spouse and children to take possession of your entire estate? Do you want to leave specific assets to specific people? Do you have charitable or philanthropic goals? For most people, addressing these types of questions is the core of the estate planning process.
As we help you build your estate plan, we will ensure that you thoroughly consider all of the options you have available. Your attorney will also recommend estate planning tools that can be used to achieve your specific objectives. It is your estate plan, and you should decide what happens to your assets when you die. We can make sure your estate plan clearly outlines your final wishes and leaves no room for interpretation.
Probate is the formal legal process for winding up a person’s final affairs. It can be costly and time-consuming, and it can also be largely avoided in many cases. When working with individuals to develop their estate plans, we help them utilize estate planning tools that will minimize the burdens of probate for their loved ones.
For many people, tax planning is an important aspect of the estate planning process as well. Estate administration can trigger various tax consequences; but, with strategic planning, many people can preserve substantial wealth that would otherwise become due and payable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
In addition to asset preservation and distribution, another key aspect of the estate planning process involves planning for incapacity. If you get sick or injured and are unable to communicate your wishes or manage your affairs, who will make decisions on your behalf?
Our New Jersey estate planning attorney uses various estate planning tools to help individuals plan for incapacity. These include advance directives, medical directives, and powers of attorney. We can help you provide as much (or as little) guidance as you wish, and we can make sure that you will automatically regain full control of your healthcare and financial decision-making as soon as you are able to do so.
As a parent, planning for your children’s needs is undoubtedly one of the most-important aspects of the estate planning process. For many people, becoming a parent is what drives them to prepare their first estate plan. Our lawyers carefully assist parents with all child-related aspects of estate planning, from designating a guardian to preserving access to government benefits for children with special needs.
If you are thinking about preparing an estate plan, you may also be thinking about doing a “DIY” estate plan online. While these options are out there, they are not recommended. Among other reasons, this is because:
Do you have questions about estate planning in New Jersey? If so, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule an appointment with an estate planning lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., please call 877-435-6371 or inquire online today.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.