What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?

In the context of estate planning, you might sometimes hear about “living trusts,” also called revocable trusts or inter vivos trusts. Living trusts are useful tools for anyone trying to plan for their future under certain circumstances, as they can allow you to fully marshal all assets of your estate prior to your death in lieu of having a last will and testament. Living trusts can create some security for you and your loved ones, since you direct how the trust will be managed and distributed according to your wishes even when you are not there to take care of your family anymore. Continue reading “What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?”

The Fiduciary Duty of an Estate’s Executor

When a person dies with a last will and testament, it becomes the duty of someone (usually someone dictated within the will itself) to execute the will of the deceased. On the one hand, it is an honor to be trusted with carrying out someone else’s will. On the other hand, it comes with a lot of work and potential liabilities, and it can be helpful to know what you’re getting into, in case you or someone you know is making a decision about who they want to be the executor of their estate. Continue reading “The Fiduciary Duty of an Estate’s Executor”

Including a Grandchild’s College Tuition in Your Estate Plan

estate plan lawyer Wayne New JerseyWhile college education has been seen as not only a rite of passage but also necessary in order to enter into many areas of workforce, the costs associated with it can be overwhelming. In recent years, the costs associated with higher education have come with a hefty price tag and are projected to continue to rise over the next few decades. According to The College Board, in 2017, the average cost for tuition, fees, and room and board for a four-year private college is a whopping $118,000. If the college-cost inflation rate is 3 percent, today’s 8-year-old can expect to pay $265,000 for four years of higher education at a private college in 2028. With the costs of college looming for current and future generations, more grandparents are looking to support their grandchild’s higher education expenses in their estate plans. Continue reading “Including a Grandchild’s College Tuition in Your Estate Plan”

Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place

advanced directives lawyer New JerseyAlzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects cognitive functions, including memory, thinking, and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease and, by 2050, that number will increase to nearly fourteen million. The association claims that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Continue reading “Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place”

Estate Closure Should be Completed by an Experienced Lawyer

estate administration New JerseyIn accordance with the law, an estate is responsible for paying the following with the assets from an estate:

  • Expenses for the decedent’s funeral;
  • Administration expenses, which includes legal fees, probate fees, and appraisals among others;
  • Money owed to the government such as estate and income taxes; and
  • Real property taxes that were accrued prior to the decedent’s death.

Continue reading “Estate Closure Should be Completed by an Experienced Lawyer”

A Last Will and Testament is Important

estate plan lawyer Wayne New JerseyA Last Will and Testament is a document that memorializes the wishes of the testator. When a person dies without a Will, his or her assets are distributed in accordance with the state laws of intestacy. When this occurs, assets are distributed in a specific order to the decedent’s next of kin, which may not be in accordance with their wishes. Also, a Will may set forth a decedent’s wishes for his or her funeral. Without a Will, a decedent’s wishes for their burial or cremation may not be carried out properly. For these reasons, it is important to execute a valid Will. Continue reading “A Last Will and Testament is Important”

Summer Is Approaching, so Be Sure to Have Your Advanced Directives in Place

estate plan lawyer Passaic CountyAdvanced directives are documents that enable you to choose a designated individual to make certain important decisions in the event you become incapacitated. Advanced directives include:

Health Care Proxy

A health care proxy designates an agent to make medical decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated.
Continue reading “Summer Is Approaching, so Be Sure to Have Your Advanced Directives in Place”

Spring Is Here So Update Your Estate Plan to Reflect Life Changes

estate plan lawyer New JerseyWhether you are looking to create an estate plan for the first time or want to update an existing plan, Spring is an ideal time to meet with an estate planning lawyer to address your current legal needs and protect your legacy for the future. In this article, we have listed a few important areas of your estate plan to review and update as necessary this Spring. Continue reading “Spring Is Here So Update Your Estate Plan to Reflect Life Changes”

Planning Your Own Funeral May Mitigate the Risk of Disputes Between Grieving Family Members

An authorization for final disposition allows someone to designate an agent to make arrangements for their funeral, as well as take control of his or her body upon death. An authorization for final disposition can set forth instructions for the following:

  • Burial;
  • Viewing;
  • Headstone;
  • Attire;
  • Flowers; and
  • Cost, among other arrangements.

Continue reading “Planning Your Own Funeral May Mitigate the Risk of Disputes Between Grieving Family Members”

Even Single People Need an Estate Plan

estate planning lawyer in Wayne, New JerseyA person that dies without a Last Will and Testament is known to have died intestate. Dying intestate or without a Will can result in unintended consequences as well as chaos because the decedent’s property and possessions will then be distributed to their heirs in accordance with the laws of the state. When this happens, a decedent’s intended wishes for the distribution of their assets and possessions will not always be carried out. Continue reading “Even Single People Need an Estate Plan”