Estate Planning Lawyers Helping Morris County Families Plan For the Future
Many individuals do not realize that by legal definition, their estate consists of their assets such as their home, property, car, and bank accounts. Generally, most people think that when they die their assets naturally are passed along to their family members. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Through the use of proper estate-planning tools, you can be assured that your final wishes are carried out in the manner in which you stipulated.
Our attorneys at Edens Law Group, LLC understand that estate planning can be a difficult subject to think about. However, using estate planning tools is the best method for ensuring that your final wishes are carried out and that your loved ones will be provided for as you intended. If you would like to see what type of estate planning options are available, you need the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact Edens Law Group, LLC at (908) 879-9499 and schedule a one-hour consultation with us to discuss how to best move forward and plan for your loved ones.
What Does Estate Planning Consist of in New Jersey?
Estate planning can entail many different aspects of family law and can be designed to fit your individual needs and specifications. Estate planning is a very important precautionary measure that individuals should take advantage of in their lives. Planning of this type ensures that your final wishes will be carried out without dispute and can help your family avoid both lengthy and costly legal disputes after you are gone. Estate planning is especially vital if you have minor age children as it enables you to make a decision as to who your children will live with in the event of your death.
There are many different aspects of estate planning, such as the following:
- Last wills and testaments, which detail who will specifically inherit your assets and belongs. This also empowers you to make provisions as to who will have custody of your minor-aged children in the event of your death.
- Living revocable trusts allow you to manage your personal assets, as well as specify which beneficiaries will receive these assets.
- Power of Attorney is a legal document granting legal rights and powers by a person, called the “principle,” to their choice of representative, called the “agent.” This agent then has the legal power to oversee your financial affairs should you ever be in a position not to do so for yourself.
- Advance health care directives, also known as living wills, give you the ability to appoint agents to act for you along with guidelines as to the type of healthcare you want or do not want should you ever be unable to express your wishes.
What is Probate in New Jersey?
In the state of New Jersey, probate is defined as a legal process that occurs after a person known as the decedent dies. This legal process occurs regardless of whether or not the individual who passed away did or did not have a valid will. If the decedent did have a will, then their assets will be allocated according to the will. Items that are not included in probate are:
- Real estate owned by joint tenants with a right of survivorship in which two owners hold a title to a property which gives them both equal rights to the property. When one of the owners passes away, the property automatically goes to the surviving owner.
- Property in a revocable trust in which assets are directed to a private entity called a trust to be distributed.
- Bank accounts with a payable on death (POD) or transfer of death (TOD) clause.
- Life insurance or retirement accounts with a designated beneficiary.
What Happens if a Decedent Dies Without a Will?
Conversely, if a decedent dies without a will, then the probate laws of the State of New Jersey determine to whom the assets will be distributed. Probate is required when the decedent dies, leaving property that is only in his or her name. Examples include:
- Bank accounts and stocks and bonds with no co-owner and no designated beneficiary.
- Possessions such as cars, jewelry, and household furniture that are only registered under the decedent’s name.
It is extremely important to understand that without a will, custody of your minor-age children would be determined by the courts of the State of New Jersey. Depending on the circumstances, this could be very lengthy and traumatic for your children.
However, it should also be mentioned that probate is not always required after an individual passes away, as it depends on what type of assets the decedent owns.
Why Should I Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer in Morris County, New Jersey?
No one wants to contemplate their own death or think about life after they are gone. Nevertheless, most people, if asked would say that they would like to ensure that their assets go to individuals that they designate as a beneficiary. One very easy way to do this is through the process of estate planning. At Edens Law Group, LLC, we have years of legal experience in handling all the varying aspects of this field of law. Let us help you gain peace of mind when it comes to assuring that your final wishes a carried out in the manner that you designate.
Our NJ law office serves the whole Morris County community, and is conveniently located just 28 minutes away from Rockaway Townsquare and 28 minutes away from Morris County Golf Club. Contact Edens Law Group, LLC at (908) 879-9499 and schedule a one-hour consultation to discuss your options for estate planning.