Finding The Right Estate Planning Attorney For You
Often the last thing many people like to think about, estate planning is essential in helping to protect the interests of your family and loved ones when you are gone. A well prepared estate plan will guarantee your desires and wishes are carried out and your loved ones are cared for. If you pass away without a strategy in place, your loved ones will be forced work out the details of your estate. This could lead to additional heart-ache and legal disputes. We work with our clients to draft the necessary documents and construct the legal groundwork for your final wishes.
At Byrnes, O’ Hern and Heugle, we provide comprehensive Estate Planning legal services including:
- NJ Probate Process
- Last Wills
- Living Wills
- Elder Law and Guardianships
The Importance of Estate Planning
Efforts by attorneys to engage in estate planning typically involve protecting assets. Clients seek to protect their hard-earned assets from unnecessary taxes and creditor risks. The most prevalent form of asset protection is also the simplest; preparing a Will. Through the use of credit shelter trusts (also knows by bypass trusts), individuals can take advantage of the federal exemption for federal estate taxes. Without these trusts, individuals can be subject to substantial tax rates in excess of 40%.
Clients can also execute Trusts to achieve the same goal and perhaps avoid the probate process. Trusts also are useful when someone has doubts about the ability of a beneficiary to manage assets prudently. By instituting a trust, a person can appoint a Trustee to oversee the management of assets. This same Trustee can also ensure that the wishes of the of client creating the trust are adhered to. These trusts also protect assets intended for certain beneficiaries like children from being attached or pursued by spouses of those beneficiaries. Trusts also become important where clients are in second marriages or whose spouses have children from a prior marriage.
As clients age and their assets grow, there may also be strategies available to them that will minimize the tax burden on their estate. Through the use of gifting strategies to beneficiaries or the use of charitable gifts or trusts, individuals can accomplish their goals of helping a favorites charity and reducing the tax burden on their estate assets.