Estate Planning Attorneys Ensure the Future Financial Security of Your Loved Ones in Burlington County
Making an estate plan is an important step that every person should take. By having a comprehensive estate plan in place, you can protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of the unexpected. We’ve assisted clients with estate planning throughout South Jersey, including the Maple Shade and Moorestown areas, in crafting estate documents including wills, trusts, healthcare directives, and other important protective documents. We will draft all necessary documents and work with you to create and develop a comprehensive estate plan that will safeguard your assets and make sure that your loved ones benefit from your gifts to them.
Why You Need an Estate Plan – Regardless of Your Tax Bracket
In New Jersey, the threshold is relatively low for estate taxation. This means the estate of someone who owns a house and some life insurance may be subject to NJ estate tax. Estate taxation laws in New Jersey are incredibly complicated. You need to plan for estate taxes and inheritance taxes upfront, so your heirs will not be encumbered by hefty tax bills. Moreover, proper planning now will ensure your loved ones receive all of their inheritance and not have to spend the bulk of it on taxes. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you craft a tax-effective estate plan that will provide maximum protection for your family.
An Estate Plan Will Safeguard Your Most Important Assets – Your Children
It’s not something anyone wants to think about, even for a moment. However, if you have children, you have to plan ahead for the worst-case scenario. If you and your co-parent (be it a spouse or ex-spouse) were to die simultaneously, who would raise and provide for your children? A solid estate plan will ensure your minor children will be raised by the person(s) you choose and will have access to the money in your estate (savings, retirement funds, life insurance benefits, etc.). An estate attorney at McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC will talk to you about a variety of documents that will help you protect your minor children, including a will and a trust. You can dictate how and when they will gain access to the money. The bottom line is this: they won’t have you, but they will be taken care of according to your wishes.
Medical Directive: Stay in Control of Your Healthcare Decisions
In addition to protecting your children’s future interests, you also want an attorney who will make sure your healthcare wishes are adhered to in the event that something happens to you. The qualified estate planning attorneys at McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC can prepare a document called a “Medical Directive” or a “Living Will.” This is a legally enforceable document that comes into effect when you are incapacitated, and ensures that your wishes for end-of-life care are known to your family and medical providers, and that one person is designated to carry out those wishes.
What Kinds of Estate Planning Services Do We Offer?
At McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC we offer a variety of estate planning services, including:
- Wills and Estate Planning
- Guardianship Issues
- Living Wills (medical directives)
- Estate Planning for Nontraditional Families
- Review of Existing Wills
Wills: A will is a set of instructions for the distribution of your assets upon your death. You can protect your loved ones’ interests and ensure their financial security going forward. You can also ensure your family avoids interpersonal conflicts by establishing a clear plan for distributing tangible personal property and belongings, including family heirlooms. Additionally, if you own a family business, you should have a plan in place for succession of the business.
Guardianship or custody of minor children: Estate planning is especially important when you have a child. It’s important for you to name a guardian because if you don’t put your wishes in writing, they might not be honored.
Trusts: You may be able to avoid paying estate taxes. Transferring your life insurance policy to a trust can potentially shield the policy from estate and income taxes. But there are complex rules that must be followed if you want to avoid the life insurance policy being included in the estate upon death. A trust can also be established if you want part of your estate to be devoted to charitable giving. Of course, all of this is very complicated. Our firm handles the creation of a variety of trusts, including a revocable trust, irrevocable trust, QTIP trusts, marital disclaimer trusts, and testamentary trusts for the benefit of minors.
Living wills, conservatorships and designation of power of attorney:You should protect your own interests in case your health deteriorates or you become incapacitated. There are different ways to structure a living will and different types of power of attorney to set up. The scope of a power of attorney typically includes handling financial matters and other “daily living” activities. A living sets forth healthcare directives concerning your end-of-life healthcare decisions. Both documents are important because they ensure that your wishes are known and that there is a designated person you trust to carry out those wishes.
Estate planning for nontraditional families: Same-sex couples, couples with children from a previous marriage, and couples who are not married are subject to more complicated rules. If you have a nontraditional family, you need an experienced estate planning lawyer to assist them with crafting an effective estate plan that protects their interests as well as the interests of their loved ones.
Plan for the Future; Speak with Experienced and Compassionate South Jersey Estate Planning Lawyers at McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC
Any major life event should spark a review of your estate planning documents. Regardless of your unique situation and circumstances, you should periodically review your estate planning documents because tax laws are constantly changing. Moreover, your own financial circumstances might have changed considerably since you first drafted your estate planning documents. We will listen carefully and understand your story so we are able to draft unique documents that meet your needs and goals. We understand your story is unique, so we always start the process with an in-person interview. We will go over important matters, such as assets, family, age of children, etc. We also provide a questionnaire to be filled out ahead of time, so this process is as easy as possible. To discuss your specific NJ estate planning needs, give us a call today. You can also submit our online contact form to schedule a free phone consultation at our Moorestown, Maple Shade or Browns Mills offices.