Why you need a Will even with Intestate Laws?

Many people are fearful of contemplating their own deaths. However, it is important to prepare an estate plan to control the disposition of your assets. If you do not to create an estate plan and die without a will, the disposition of your assets will be governed by the intestate laws of the state in which you live. Many people believe that state intestacy laws will transfer all of their property to pass to a surviving spouse. However, this is … Continued

Guardians and Custodians for Children

Planning for the care of your children may be at the center of your mindset during the COVID-19 pandemic. Who will care for your minor children if you become unavailable? This article explains the concepts of a guardian and a custodian. Nominating Guardians For a parent with minor children, the most important issue in the estate plan is usually naming the person who will act as guardian for a person’s children. A will maybe utilized to nominate a guardian. In … Continued

Asset Protection Strategies for Business Professionals

  ASSET PROTECTION STRATEGIES FOR BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS   Professionals providing services to others are at risk for liability claims. It is important to engage in asset protection strategies to protect wealth and minimize potential liability. Asset protection strategies include:   Gifting Assets Gifting strategies are powerful wealth transfer tools. Gifts may be effectuated via (a) an outright gift of an asset, (b) use of an irrevocable trust for the benefit of others, (c) establishing a family limited partnership, or by … Continued

Estate Planning Basics

  Irrespective of the size of your estate, an estate plan can help to take care of both you and your family. Below are some of the common estate planning documents:   Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will. A Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will document allows you to appoint an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated as well as to articulate health care decisions if certain conditions surmount. … Continued

Requirements for a valid will in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, a will must be:  (1) in writing, (2) signed by the testator or in the testator’s name by some other individual in the testator’s conscious presence and at the testator’s direction; AND (3) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after each witnessed either the signing of the will as stated in (2) or the testator’s acknowledgement of that signature or acknowledgement of the will.   A will may … Continued

Post Mortem (After Death) Checklist

  1. Contact and retain a properly licensed attorney knowledgeable in the area of estates promptly after death. Work with the attorney to prepare a list of all legal deadlines to make claims. The attorney will commence any necessary court proceedings and coordinate the following activities with the personal representative in writing, the trustees (where a trust is involved) and/or other attorneys. 2. It is necessary to collect approximately multiple (at least 5) copies of the death certificate for legal … Continued

FAQs About Estate Planning

1.   Q.   What happens if I die without a will?   A.   If you fail to plan your estate and die without a will, the law will create a plan for you. The entire system—which is set forth by statute—is too complex for a discussion here, but some surprising and frequently undesirable results can occur. The law prescribes both the persons to whom your property will pass and the division of your estate among those persons. The … Continued