Effective estate planning requires you to evaluate your assets, determine what you want to happen to those assets in the future, and anticipate your needs for the coming years. People who are managing their estates without proper guidance may become overwhelmed. Comprehensive estate plans contain multiple documents that must all meet the relevant legal requirements and it is essential to understand how those documents can interact with each other.
Our New Jersey trusts and estate lawyer can work with you to provide for your future and that of your heirs, including measuring your assets, identifying realistic goals, suggesting the necessary testamentary documents, and drafting those documents in a way that gives them the intended legal effect. The experienced team at Gillman, Bruton & Capone are dedicated to constant and transparent communication so that your needs are being met.
Individuals who are looking to draft an estate plan for the first time or update their existing documents must evaluate their needs in their totality. This means identifying assets, naming heirs, and determining the impact of taxes and other finances on the estate planning process. Because of this, our trusts and estates attorneys in New Jersey work with you long before putting pen to paper.
An attorney can begin identifying and locating your assets. While some of these assets may be easy to spot, like money in a bank account, it may also be true that people retain hidden assets, such as being a beneficiary to a life insurance policy or a shareholder in a company. Identifying these assets is the first step in effective estate planning.
We will also provide help when it comes to naming proper beneficiaries. Although individuals are free to name any person as their heirs or beneficiaries in an estate plan, the fact is that this selection can have a major impact on the overall value of an estate. Concepts such as estate taxes and the inability of children to inherit assets could all impact an estate plan. We have years of experience in this field and want to use our knowledge to set up an effective estate planning road map for you.
There are many options when considering which testamentary documents to utilize in an estate plan. At the core of most estates are Wills. A Will states which parties you would like to inherit your financial assets and property after death, which helps retain control over the probate process. However, only having a Will may subject your estate to unnecessary taxation, as well as leave benefits on the table prior to death.
Another popular estate planning tool is a “trust.” Placing property in a trust allows it to be distributed to a beneficiary at any point in the future, not necessarily upon death. Additionally, trust-makers no longer possess those assets once they place them in a trust and may enjoy significant tax savings as a result.
When crafting testamentary documents, a New Jersey trusts and estates attorney helps you out by following the relevant rules of construction. For example, New Jersey Revised Statute § 3B:31-19 says that a person must intend to create a trust, have the capacity to do so, and that the trustee cannot be the sole beneficiary of the trust. Similar rules apply to the formation of Wills and other documents. We help ensure that an estate plan has the intended effect and meets the necessary legal requirements.
It is never too early to think about providing for your future and for the future of your heirs. Building an effective estate plan can ensure that your property moves to the intended beneficiaries in the future, as well as provide immediate tax benefits to you. A New Jersey trusts and estates lawyer from Gillman, Bruton & Capone is ready to help you along in this process. From identifying your assets, to selecting the correct estate planning documents, to ensuring that those documents meet the relevant legal standards, we are committed to providing you with every resource you need. Call us now for a free case evaluation.