Princeton Estate Planning Lawyer
Princeton Estate Planning Lawyer
Whether you are young or old, and whether you have limited resources or a substantial income, you should consider the benefits of estate planning. There are many misconceptions about estate planning, including the notions that estate planning is only for the elderly or the wealthy. In fact, every adult in New Jersey can benefit from estate planning, from gaining peace of mind in knowing that sentimental property will be distributed to a specific family member to knowing that your health care decisions will be honored even if you become incapacitated and cannot discuss your preferences. There are many different types of estate planning tools, including wills and trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, and more. An experienced Princeton estate planning lawyer at our firm can provide you with more information and can begin working with you today on an estate plan.
What is Estate Planning in Princeton?
What is estate planning? It is a process that involves working with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine your financial and health care goals, to discuss how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death, and to consider tax and other financial implications of asset protection strategies and creating a will or trust. For adults in New Jersey who have minor children, estate planning can also involve naming a guardian to care for your children in the event of your death, and naming a person who can manage financial assets for your minor children in the event of your death.
In other words, estate planning is a broad process, and the specific estate planning tools that you should consider will depend upon your particular needs and circumstances. As the American Bar Association (ABA) explains, “estate planning covers the transfer of property at death as well as a variety of other personal matters and may or may not involve tax planning.”
Common Princeton, NJ Estate Planning Tools
The dedicated Princeton estate planning lawyers at Scott Counsel, P.C. regularly assist clients with many different types of estate planning tools. Examples of common estate planning tools that you may want to consider can include but are not limited to:
- Making a will;
- Establishing a trust;
- Creating advance directives;
- Naming an attorney-in-fact through one or more power of attorney documents;
- Taxes and estate planning; and
- Asset protection for older adults.
Princeton Wills and Trusts
Wills are the most common estate planning tool or document, and nearly everyone should have a will. If you pass away and do not have a valid will, your property will be distributed according to particular beneficiaries outlined under New Jersey’s intestacy laws. To be clear, if you die and do not have a valid will, New Jersey law will determine how your property is passed onto your heirs. As such, it is critical to make a will and to ensure that you have met all of the requirements for it to be valid according to New Jersey law. Generally speaking, a will must be made in hard copy by an adult, it must be signed by the maker of the will, and it must be witnessed and signed by two witnesses. To ensure that you have a valid will, you should work with a Princeton estate planning attorney.
Trusts are also legal tools through which a person can leave assets to a loved one or entity, but they require the maker of the trust to place assets into the trust to be managed by a trustee. There are a wide variety of trusts that can be established under New Jersey law, and they have different requirements and purposes. One of the primary benefits of a trust is that, unlike a will, assets distributed to beneficiaries through a trust do not have to go through the probate process.
Princeton Advance Directives and Powers of Attorney
Advance directives and powers of attorney are estate planning tools that can allow a person to ensure that certain health care and financial decisions can be made on their behalf in the event of incapacitation. In other words, if you become incapacitated as a result of a medical event and cannot voice your own decisions about the type of life-saving treatment you wish to receive (or not to receive, as the case may be), you can explain your wishes in an Instructive Directive (also known as a living will), and you can name a person to serve as your attorney-in-fact for health care decisions through a Proxy Directive (also known as a durable power of attorney for health care in New Jersey). These documents only take effect if you are disabled or incapacitated and cannot make a decision for yourself.
Other types of powers of attorney can allow you to name someone to speak on your behalf for legal and financial decisions during your lifetime. These various types of powers of attorney may take effect immediately, or you can choose for them to take effect in the event that you become incapacitated. Our estate planning lawyers in Princeton can speak with you about different types of powers of attorney that may be beneficial to you based on your individual circumstances.
Cases We Handle
- Asset Protection
- Business Succession
- Elder Law
- Estate Tax Planning
- Living Wills
- Power Of Attorney
- Special Needs Trusts
- Veteran Benefits
Contact a Princeton Estate Planning Attorney Today
Estate planning is important for every adult in New Jersey, regardless of your income level or your age, and regardless of whether or not you have minor children. Whether you want to leave assets to family members or friends, or you want to leave all of your property to a charity or organization of your choosing, you should learn more about how wills and trusts allow people to decide who will receive their assets upon death. Yet estate planning is about more than what happens to your assets after you pass away. To be sure, elder law and asset protection, as well as the creation of advance directives and powers of attorney, allow you to use estate planning tools to ensure that certain plans are carried out during your life. If you have any questions about estate planning in New Jersey, one of our experienced Princeton estate planning attorneys can speak with you today. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or call our firm at (856) 281-3131 to learn more about our services.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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