Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Power of attorneyGuiding New Jersey clients Through the Estate Planning Process

Estate planning is the process of setting forth how one wants their estate distributed and to whom.  Estate planning is something you do for your family. Though it may be difficult to consider, estate planning is in the best interests of everyone. You probably have an idea or vision of how to distribute your property. Without the process of estate planning, your assets may be allocated by a court instead of your wishes. If you need our legal advice, contact Cohn Lifland.

Making a Will or Trust

You should have a will.  It must be written and witnessed according to legal requirements.  It functions to establish who will inherit property and will identify an executor to carry out your wishes. Without a will, others may make that decision for you   A valid, durable will protects your heirs from possible litigation. You have many options when choosing a trust that each come with specific advantages and disadvantages.

Making Healthcare Directives

When working with an estate planning attorney, you should write out your medical wishes for when you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself. You should choose someone to follow your wishes by executing a power of attorney to follow your direction. Your healthcare declaration is also called a living will. It can allow your family to take care of you according to your wishes.

Power of Attorney

In order for your wishes regarding your finances and healthcare to be properly executed, you should consider assigning someone as your attorney-in-fact, or your agent. A document called a power of attorney gives someone the power to act in your place when you cannot. This person does not need to be an attorney. They can be someone you trust to take authority over your affairs once you cannot.

Other Factors to Consider

When planning your estate, you may place assets in trust for those who are too young or otherwise incapacitated to receive and manage them.   This can be the executor of your will. You may designate a beneficiary for bank accounts, retirement plans and other assets in order to make that asset payable on death to the beneficiaries outside of the estate.

Contact Cohn Lifland

You should see an attorney to discuss the many issues and options in your estate plan.  To guide you through the process, contact Cohn Lifland. Our attorneys are ready to help. If you need our legal services, contact Cohn Lifland today.

Contact:

Barry A. Knopf

Leonard Z. Kaufmann

Cohn, Lifland, Pearlman, Herrmann and Knopf LLP
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