It is never too soon to make a plan. Careful planning will provide security and protection for your future, and the future of your family.
The biggest misconception about estate planning is that it is all about who gets what. For most people that step is easy. The hard parts are deciding who will be in charge and planning for contingencies.
Wills Everyone needs a will, because without one you have no control over how your affairs will be handled after your passing. In addition to directing the disposition of your assets, a will accomplishes the all-important goal of naming an executor to be in charge of your estate, waiving bond for that executor (otherwise they must be bonded for the full value of the estate, a will can avoid this unnecessary cost), appointing guardians and trustees for minors, and with careful planning can create a framework that will stand the test of time, no matter what changes life brings your way.
Trusts Trusts are a flexible and powerful estate planning tool that can be used to solve a variety of problems. In states with complex probate processes a trust is recommended for all people. New Jersey has a simple probate process, and therefore many people do not need a trust unless they are trying to accomplish a specific goal. For example, a trust can: simplify the probate process, makes dealing without out-of-state property easy, can offer Medicaid asset protection, tax sheltering, and can offer useful structures for people with complex family situations.
Power of Attorney If you were incapacitated due to illness or injury, who would act on your behalf? In New Jersey, without a power of attorney in place, only a legal guardian can make decisions for you. A well-drafted power of attorney names someone to act on your behalf, grants them specific powers you would like them to employ, and removes the need for guardianship in most circumstances. Healthcare Directives One of the heaviest burdens we can carry in life is the responsibility of making an end-of-life decision for a loved one. Clear, well-drafted healthcare directives can help alleviate this burden from your family. A healthcare proxy directive makes the question of who will make that decision cut and dry, and an advance directive gives guidance on how that decision should be made.
SKYLANDS LEGAL LLC Your Family's Future is Our Business Joshua P. Donovick Attorney at Law email@example.com Tel. (973) 970-9583 Fax (973) 453-4030 191 Woodport Road, Suite 4 Sparta, New Jersey 07871