Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives for Healthcare

Review of current documents as needed and counsel on needed amendments to update as to client preferences and/or changed circumstances and the law. Review of assets to determine any New Jersey or Federal Estate Tax issues to be avoided, or New Jersey Inheritance Tax assessments. Determine if client’s “non-probate” assets will defeat the intent of their last wills. Discussion of the propriety of a Revocable Living Trust vs. a Last Will and Testament. The need for guardianships for minor children, and child trusts, including Supplemental Benefit Trusts for the disabled.

Counseling regarding the use of testamentary or other trusts to avoid or minimize the impact of estate tax. Counseling as to the use of revocable trusts to avoid ancillary probate for land owned in other states.

Discussion and preparation of power of attorney for financial affairs; the “Durable Power of Attorney”; “General Power” vs. “Springing Power”. Termination of powers of attorney

Counseling and preparation of Advance Directives for Heath Care (“Living Wills”), and how to make them more likely to be honored when needed. Who should be appointed as your health care representative, and the needed discussion you need to have with them. Honoring religious issues.

Guardianships

Counseling on the need for a guardian and detail of the responsibilities of a guardian. Representing the proposed guardian through the filing of physician reports and court documents, responding to the court appointed attorney and appearance in court for any hearing. Provide assistance as needed to the newly appointed guardian.

Medicaid

Comprehensive counseling regarding Medicaid regulations and the legal standards for eligibility. Assistance with the application process and counseling regarding asset planning. Preparation of the Medicaid application and assistance with county social services.

Probate

Meet with the proposed executor or administrator and family to discuss the probate process. Determine if legal assistance is needed. Assist with probate application as needed. Counsel client as to procedures, notifications and tax deadlines required by law. Assist family as needed, including the creation of trusts, notifications to the New Jersey Attorney General, protection of the executor from allegations and claims from third parties.