Wills and Trusts
Wills and trusts are integral parts of good estate plans. Depending on your needs, type, and location of assets, you may only need a last will and testament. Others may need a trust, in addition to a will, in order to protect beneficiaries who are in their tender years or those who are receiving government benefit. Trusts may also be used to obtain certain tax benefits. In rare cases, in New Jersey, a last will is not appropriate at all and a living trust is needed.
There are a lot of issues which need to be considered. Certainly, there are many types of Wills and Trusts. Their use depends totally upon what you, the client, is hoping to accomplish. Many people come to us because they have young children and need to name someone to act as a guardian in the unlikely event that both parents pass before their children reach adulthood. Some have a disabled child or parent that needs continuing care for which provisions must be made. Others just need to ensure that their estates are distributed in the most efficient manner as possible to take advantage of tax savings clauses which benefit their family. Whatever the need, the New Jersey wills and trusts attorney at Shanahan & Voigt, LLC have the experience and knowledge to help you reach your goals.
Advanced Healthcare Directive
An Advanced Directive for Health Care, or “Living Will”, is a document that you may prepare now, to direct the type of health care you will want or not want, if you become unable to make your own health care decisions. By preparing the living will, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health care options. If you ever become unable to communicate your healthcare wishes, the Living Will describes your wishes and names someone to carry them out.
Consider this document carefully. Just because you have a “terminal condition” doesn’t mean that you do not have good years ahead of you. If you were to be hospitalized then, do you still want care to be discontinued? Avoid phrases like, “no extraordinary measures,” and “no heroic efforts:”;the medical professionals assisting you will not know if what they want to proscribe is the same as what you consider to be “extraordinary” or “heroic.” You need to be more specific.
The Attorneys at Shanahan & Voigt, LLC are sensitive to your wishes. As President of the Hunterdon County Bar Association, Bob Shanahan facilitated a panel of local doctors and physicians to discuss Advance Directives. Many doctors indicated that they did not like living wills and wanted the bar and the medical society to discuss them. The problem, as it turned out, was that doctors found Advance Directives to be written too generally, not covering the specific issues they were dealing with in the present. After a year of discussions, we came up with a better document which was both legal and, above all, practical in its use.
In preparing each client’s advance directive, we provide a detailed questionnaire to assess individual needs and preferences. To obtain a copy of our questionnaire, please contact us.