A person’s estate is comprised of everything you own, including your car, house, bank account, life insurance, personal possessions, and retirement account. Estate planning is the process of arranging to distribute your possessions upon your death. It does not need to be expensive or complicated, and knowing your family is taken care of can give you peace of mind.
Planning an estate involves making a list of what you own, drafting a will, and reviewing the beneficiary designations on your retirement and life insurance accounts. Most Americans do not need to worry about estate taxes or complex trust arrangements, but these will also be included in the planning.
Our experienced team of Monmouth County family law attorneys represent clients in all aspects of trusts and estates law. We have a successful track record of assisting clients through probate, estate litigation, allegations of undue influence and/or lack of capacity, disputes regarding the interpretation of wills or trusts, tax audits, tax litigation, as well as other disputes in New Jersey jurisdictions at both the trial and appellate levels.
Devising a will provides instructions for how your property will be distributed upon your death. Any assets in your name must go through the state’s probate process before they can be distributed to your heirs. This process can take a long time, and can be quite costly. We pride ourselves on efficiency by minimizing our clients’ legal fees and avoiding probate whenever possible by establishing trusts. Some services we provide specifically relating to wills include:
Our estate planning lawyers also assist clients with updating their wills, powers of attorney, and trusts to ensure that they accurately reflect their current assets. Updating your will regularly will also ensure that it benefits from current estate tax codes.
One of the advantages of setting up a trust is that it can help you avoid costly, protracted probate court proceedings. By setting up a revocable living trust, you can avoid probate for virtually any property that you own, including real estate, jewelry, heirlooms, and checking and savings account balances.
A revocable living trust functions like a will. You can use it to give your property to your heirs upon your death. Should you change your mind at any time while you are alive, you are able to change the trust’s terms or revoke it. Upon your death, the property held in trust is controlled by a trustee. This person has the power to distribute your property to whomever you designate, thereby avoiding probate. This can help get your property to those you want to have it more quickly. Our experienced lawyers can help advise you whether setting up a trust is right for you.
The creation of an effective, legally sound will does not need to be complicated or expensive. This is something you do for your family, to ensure that they are taken care of upon your passing. If you do not have a will, have one that needs updating, or are involved in an estate dispute, the respected Monmouth County family law attorneys at Fox & Melofchik can help. Contact us online or call us at 732-493-9400 to schedule a consultation. With offices located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we serve clients in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Mercer County and the towns of Colts Neck, Rumson, Deal, Monmouth Beach, Little Silver and Holmdel.