Elder Law

 

Estate Planning Services

Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney & Trusts

 
A good estate plan will include a medical power of attorney and a general durable power of attorney. The medical power of attorney, also known as a health care proxy, is an instrument wherein you may appoint an individual to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you are no longer able to do so for yourself.

A General Durable Power of Attorney provides for the appointment of a trusted individual for the management of your finances and other personal affairs, excluding decisions pertaining to your medical care. Much like a Will, these documents afford you an opportunity to voice your desires as to how you wish to live, how you wish to be treated, who you wish to have authority over your property, etc. in the event of disability.

With our thoughtful estate planning packages, we provide varying levels of protection to preserve your asset values, maximize the enjoyment of your assets, control your family's future and support the efforts of particular charities. Each package is customized to suit your unique goals, needs and finances. Due to the high federal and New Jersey estate tax rates, it is more important than ever to protect your assets from significant loss due to estate taxes. A number of trusts can be used to accomplish more sophisticated financial and estate planning objectives. If you already have a Will, we encourage our clients to review it periodically as revisions may become necessary to reflect any significant changes in your financial and personal life or changes in federal and state tax laws.
 
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Estate / Trust Administration

Our experienced staff is available to guide an Executor or Administrator through the Estate process. Services include opening the estate by probating the Will, securing the client's appointment as the estate's representative, assembling and valuating the decedent's assets, collecting income, paying debts, reviewing personal and estate tax liabilities, preparing accounts and documents necessary to transfer property to the estate's beneficiaries.

Legal Guardianships & Conservatorships

For Minors & the Elderly

 
In the absence of proper estate planning documents, such as an executed General Durable Power of Attorney, the court may order a caregiver to oversee a person who is unable to make sound decisions due to old age or mental or physical disability in the form of an application for legal guardianship.

A family member may also apply to the Court for the authority to oversee the incapacitated individual's finances and property as well. Both legal guardianships and conservatorships require considerable time and effort on the part of the legal guardian or conservator. These applications are not just for the elderly. Under some circumstances, it may be necessary for a court to appoint an emergency guardian, who can act on your behalf due to tragedy or temporary injury until you regain your ability to make your own decisions. Further, the Court requires application for approval of funds where the recipient is a minor or mentally incompetent person in post-judgment or settlement matters. Legal guardianship and/or conservatorship also arises in probate matters, where both parents are deceased, having left a Will naming a trusted individual to be guardian of his or her minor child.

Our office has submitted many such applications and is available to explain in detail the process to prospective clients.
 
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