Paramus Estate Planning Attorneys Offer Comprehensive Solutions
Skilled counsel for legacy decisions throughout Northern NJ and NYC
Estate planning is the process of “putting your affairs in order” to ensure your hard-earned assets are protected from creditors, legal liability claimants, and, of course, the taxman. An estate plan can also ensure your real property, personal effects, and financial assets are passed on to your heirs in an orderly and tax-efficient manner. Whether you’re young or old, it’s important to have an estate plan in place that reflects your life situation and goals, and guards against unfortunate occurrences. At Whitlock Canter LLC in Paramus, our knowledgeable and professional attorneys can help you implement a comprehensive estate plan that protects your interests now and in the future.
What should you include in your estate plan?
Although everyone’s situation is unique, there are certain basic components of every effective estate plan. Our skilled attorneys can guide you through all aspects of a comprehensive plan, including:
- Wills — Every adult should have a will as a means to convey property to loved ones and cherished organizations, and to serve as their final statement to the world. We draft wills that conform to the legal standards of New Jersey and New York, and we help testators update their will as needed when their circumstances change.
- Healthcare directives — These instruments are called different things in different states. But whether the term is living will, healthcare directive or something else, it is important to make your preferences known for healthcare decisions in case you become unable to make them for yourself.
- Trusts — A trust is a common but also rather complicated legal structure for holding and transferring certain types of assets. For example, a living trust allows you to enjoy your assets during your life and then pass them on seamlessly to your heirs, without having to go through probate. A living trust can also help you reduce or eliminate estate taxes. We can explain the options for using trusts effectively, given your overall goals.
- Powers of attorney — With a power of attorney, you can transfer authority to act on your behalf to a person you trust. Every person should have a valid power of attorney for use in the event of incapacity.
- Guardianships — Parents can make provisions for the guardianship of their minor children in a will, but the guardian must still get approval from the court. It is often necessary to set up a guardianship for an adult loved one who is vulnerable due to incapacity.
Setting up an estate plan may seem daunting, but our attorneys provide highly personal and professional attention throughout the process. When your estate plan is complete, you’ll enjoy complete peace of mind, knowing you’ve put the proper legal safeguards in place for yourself and your family.
Updating your plan to keep pace with changed circumstances
You should update your estate plan periodically to address your changing circumstances and goals at different stages in your life. For example, you need to carry high levels of life insurance while your children are young, but you can reduce that expenditure when they are grown and direct your resources elsewhere. When you reach middle age, you may need to add a credit shelter trust to your will and perhaps an irrevocable life insurance trust as a tax-free, probate-free means of inheritance for your heirs.
If you are fortunate enough to retire with significant wealth, you may want to take advantage of one or more of the many sophisticated estate planning techniques that Whitlock Canter LLC uses to effect a reduction of the estate tax burden on your heirs.
Contact our Paramus law firm for a comprehensive estate plan
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy; people of modest means can use the same strategies to protect their property and provide a legacy for their loved ones. Let Whitlock Canter LLC design a custom solution for your specific circumstances. If you live in Paramus, Bergen County, or anywhere in Northern New Jersey or New York City, give us a call today at 201-397-1188 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.