- Estate planning. You need to plan for the administration of your affairs both while you are alive and when you pass away. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to place your affairs in good order to avoid confusion and possible dissension if something should happen to you.
- Estate administration. Have you been appointed executor in the will of a loved one? Have you been appointed trustee of a loved one or close friend? Have you been named under a power of attorney or an advance medical directive? Do you understand your obligations in these situations?
- Estate litigation. What is your recourse if you believe the will or trust of a loved one does not accurately reflect that person's wishes? What are your rights if another family member or close friend challenges the will or trust of a loved one? How can you best secure your rights?
Personal Attention to Your Estate Planning Needs
Do you need an estate plan? Do you need a will, a power of attorney, an advance medical directive ("living will")? If you do not have a plan in place, you most surely need one. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to have your affairs in order should anything happen to you. If you have an estate plan, should it be updated? Recent tax changes may make your existing plan obsolete.
Do you wish to create or update trusts to provide assistance to your family or other loved ones during your lifetime? What is the best way to coordinate such planning with your estate plan, which will take effect when you pass away? Should you include trusts in your will, especially if you are to benefit your minor children?
Your personal situation is unique; your estate plan should reflect your situation, not someone else's. "Cookie cutter" plans are cheap, easy and usually seriously flawed. A proper estate plan requires an attorney who will listen carefully and ask the right questions to meet your goals. Your attorney should also advise you of future changes or circumstances that may require alternatives or changes to your plan so your goals will remain intact in changing times.
Avoid future confusion or litigation over your estate. Create a clear and coherent estate plan. I can help.
Guiding You Through the Estate Administration Process
Has a loved one appointed you executor of his or her estate, trustee of a trust, guardian of his or her children, or agent under a power of attorney or advance medical directive ("living will")? What is expected of you in these situations? Do you know and understand your obligations and how best to meet them? I can give you the careful advice you require not only to satisfy your obligations, but to provide you the satisfaction that you can properly meet the goals of a loved one who has placed trust in you.
I can advise you in these matters, from probating a will to creating an inventory of assets and liabilities to providing a final accounting and making final distributions of property. I can provide assistance if you are appointed a guardian of a minor or an adult. I can inform you of your obligations in handling a loved one's financial affairs through a power of attorney or medical requirements through an advance medical directive.
You need appropriate, competent and timely legal advice in these matters. All too often, the management of an estate or actions taken under a power of attorney can raise objections from heirs and other beneficiaries. You need to avoid disputes that can lead to costly and time-consuming litigation. Let me be the person to provide the assistance you need.
Have You Been Sued?
What if you are sued in your capacity as executor, trustee or guardian? You need to know how to defend your conduct. Even the most careful conduct on your part may not be enough to prevent a lawsuit, particularly in these very litigious times. Probate litigation can be highly emotional as it most often occurs between and among family members. To complicate matters, probate litigation involves its own rules and protocols. Further, litigation can often waste many of the assets of an estate – a bad result all around. I can help.
Do You Need to Bring a Suit?
What if you believe a fiduciary has acted improperly? For example, what if an executor appears to be engaged in fraud or self-dealing? What if an executor cannot provide an appropriate explanation for certain actions? Challenging the probate of an estate is a difficult process, requiring acquisition of and careful review of pertinent documents. All too often, litigation is necessary simply to obtain documentation of wrongdoing. I know what needs to be done, and I can help you define your goals and actions.
Contact Me Today
Call me at 908-336-0268 or send me an e-mail to schedule a meeting with an experienced estate lawyer in Somerville, New Jersey. I look forward to hearing from you. Your initial consultation is an important step in securing and protecting your legal rights.