After spending a lifetime building an estate, it is important to protect those hard-earned assets. Putting an estate plan
in place can not only protect you if you should become incapacitated, but it can also ensure that the money you worked so hard to accumulate is protected after death. A federal estate planning lawyer can help you draft a plan that best meets your own personal needs, no matter how complex. An estate plan will also determine how your estate will be administered while keeping taxes to a minimum.
What Does an Estate Plan Include?
There are several elements that can be included under the umbrella of an estate plan, including:
- Wills. A will is one of the simplest forms of estate planning, but in order to be valid, the will must be legally created and executed according to state and potentially out-of-state laws, depending on where assets are held.
- Trusts. Trusts are a valuable estate planning tool that can be used to direct the distribution of assets after the trustor passes away. Trusts are often established for minor children or developmentally disabled children so that they are cared for properly. A trust can also be used to act as a tax shelter of sorts, keeping certain assets protected from a federal or state estate tax.
- Advance directives. Advance directives, which offer a plan for the distribution of an estate in the event that the person becomes incapacitated, include a wide variety of documents. Papers may include a living will, specific final arrangements such as burial or cremation, a healthcare proxy, and durable power of attorney.
What if I Don’t Have an Estate Plan?
Many people put off estate planning, but we can’t predict our mortality. Dying without an estate plan or will in place can mean years of probate, unnecessary fees, and fraudulent claims against the estate.
If yours is a complicated estate – multiple marriages, blended families, and step-children – creating an estate plan through mediation can prevent future family conflict when it comes time to distribute the estate.
If you are looking for an experienced attorney in estate planning, call the law offices of Steven W. Tarta, Esquire at (201) 444-8448 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The
Tarta Law office has more than 45 years of experience and specializes in all forms of estate planning. Tarta Law serves clients in Midland Park, Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Wycoff and Franklin Lakes.