Morris County & Bergen County Estate Planning Attorney
Although many individuals believe that estate planning is simply a matter of providing for their loved ones when they are no longer around, it’s really about establishing lifetime goals to ensure that they and their loved ones are protected in the event of incapacity or death. Regardless of your financial or familial status, a carefully designed estate plan will not only preserve your legacy, but also chart a course for the future.
Located in Morristown, E.A. Goodman Law, LLC provides comprehensive estate planning services to individuals, couples, and families throughout the state of New Jersey. Knowing that each client is unique, we take the time to understand their objectives and design customized estate plans that best suit their needs. Well versed in the applicable trusts, estates, and tax laws, we also handle special circumstances such as an individual dying without a will or a spouse being excluded from a will.
We work with clients from all walks of life, including high net-worth individuals. In short, we can assist with planning small estates, as well as creating more complex plans required by increasing wealth, complicated family situations, or the special needs of family members. We also advise small businesses on succession planning as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy. Guided by a principle of always putting the best interests of our clients first, we have a well-earned reputation for providing caring, efficient, and cost-effective service.
Essential Estate Planning Documents
Despite the common perception that you have to be wealthy to establish an estate plan, as a practical matter, every adult should at least have a will, a power of attorney, and an advanced medical directive. Our legal team is highly adept at preparing a wide range of essential estate planning documents, including:
- Last Will and Testament (Will) – This is basically a document that declares how an individual’s assets will be managed and distributed after his or her death. An executor is named to carry out the terms of the will, transfer assets to the beneficiaries, and fulfill other important duties. A will also allows you to designate guardians to care for your minor children. Without a will, the probate court will intervene to make these decisions in accordance with the intestacy laws of New Jersey.
- Durable Power of Attorney – Allows you to name a trusted person, usually a family member or close friend, to manage your personal and business affairs in the event of incapacity.
- Advance Medical Directive – Commonly known as a healthcare proxy, this document names an agent to coordinate the medical treatment you prefer to receive with your doctors if you are unable to make or communicate these decisions.
- Revocable Living Trust – This estate planning tool allows you to transfer property into the trust and continue managing it during your lifetime. A living trust also allows you to plan for incapacity. Most importantly, a trust does not need to be probated, which saves time and money and preserves the privacy of the financial arrangements.
- Irrevocable Trust – Unlike a revocable trust, these trusts cannot be modified during your lifetime and allow you to achieve objectives such as providing for a loved one with special needs, planning for long-term care, avoiding estate taxes, and asset protection.
- Living Will – This is a type of advanced medical directive that declares the type of end-of-life care you wish to receive if you are terminally ill or incapacitated and cannot communicate those decisions.
- Guardianships – Designed to protect a loved one who is not capable of caring for him or herself due to a serious injury, incapacitating physical illness or psychological condition.
The Value of Estate Planning
Although thinking about dying or becoming incapacitated is never pleasant, establishing an estate plan is the only responsible way to provide for family members and protect your assets. Many believe that planning is only necessary for the rich and famous, or that they don’t need an estate plan because they do not have children or are not married. Similarly, some people put off drafting a will or a trust until it is too late. By engaging the services of E.A. Goodman Law, LLC, you can avoid those common estate planning mistakes.
It is important to remember that without an estate plan in place, the probate court will designate someone to make decisions about your property that may not reflect your wishes. By working with our dedicated legal team, you will have peace of mind knowing that your legacy and your loved ones are in good hands.
Additionally, there are a number of other reasons to create an estate plan, not the least of which is planning for incapacity. Let’s face it: anyone can become seriously ill or be injured in an accident at any time. By creating a durable power of attorney and an advanced medical directive, you can rest assured that your affairs will be properly managed and that you will receive the medical care you prefer when you cannot speak for yourself. You will also relieve loved ones of the burden of going to court to obtain the authority to assume these decision making responsibilities.
For those with minor children, it is crucial to plan for their upbringing, and a will is the only way to designate guardians to care for them if you die or your spouse dies simultaneously. Finally, those who wish to avoid probate and minimize estate taxes consequences of their estate can benefit from utilizing a variety of trusts.
Morristown Estate Planning Lawyer
At E.A. Goodman Law, LLC, our mission is to help our clients make the best personal, financial, legal and business decisions for their family throughout their lifetime and to be there to guide their loved ones when they can’t be. We believe that estate planning is more than filling out form documents and plugging in numbers. Our legal team provides ongoing, personal service and customized advice and documents to each individual, family and family business.
We take pride in being the family’s attorneys and trusted advisers who our clients can always turn to throughout life’s transitions and challenges. We treat each client and their loved ones with the utmost respect and strive to deliver an exceptional client experience. Today’s the day to start planning for your future. Call our office or complete the contact form on our website.