Estate Planning LawyerSea Girt, NJ
Planning for your future lets you live in confidence today. Estate planning requires complicated decision-making and has important financial and legal consequences. By creating a personalized estate plan today, you can manage your estate the way you want and rest assured that your wishes will be respected and honored in the future. At Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C., we are committed to providing personalized estate planning assistance so you can make the decisions that work for you.
Overview of Estate Planning in Monmouth County
Estates and estate planning involves a variety of financial and legal issues, such as what happens to your assets after your death and what benefits and responsibilities are passed on to your family. Generally, the goals of estate planning include ensuring assets pass to the intended recipients, minimizing tax obligations and avoiding probate, and caring for loved ones even after you are gone.
An experienced and competent estate planner will identify and address these issues and work with you to create a plan that meets you and your family’s priorities. Depending on your personal situation, you may wish to create a will, one or more trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, or guardianship arrangements for minor children. These documents can control how decisions are made both during your life, at the end of your life, and after you are gone. If you are helping an elderly relative or friend manage his or her estate, we can also help with conservatorship proceedings.
At Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C., we provide you with the tools and resources you need to confidently plan for your future. Estate planning is a highly personal process—it involves your money and assets, but it also involves making sure your wishes are respected by loved ones even after your death. Attorney Anthony J. Cafaro understands the personal component of estate planning. This is why he strives to get to know you and provide you the individualized services that best suit your needs.
Contact an Effective Monmouth County Estate Planning Lawyer Today to Secure Your Wellbeing & the Future of Your Loved Ones
Not every Monmouth County estate planning lawyer understands the importance of providing personalized client services. At Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C., we work to provide effective legal services without losing sight of what truly matters—you and your family’s wishes. If you have questions regarding your estate and live in Central New Jersey, please call our office at 732.449.0449 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C. is an estate planning lawyer located in Sea Girt, NJ. At Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C., we work with families and individuals that are looking to create an estate plan in order to protect their assets and their heirs. Planning for the future is important because if you don’t plan, your estate will be subject to the probate process where a judge determines what happens to your assets. After working hard your entire life, don’t leave your estate in the hands of a stranger. Instead, call (732) 449-0449 to schedule a consultation and begin planning for the future of your family.
If you live in the 08750 area, our law offices are conveniently located and taking a few minutes to discuss your estate can save your heirs a lot of money later on. We can discuss tax saving strategies along with ways that you can protect your asset both now and in the future. There are several options to choose from, and we will present the ones that will best accomplish your goals.
Establishing a Will
In New Jersey, it is highly recommended that you create a will. Your will can list out all of your assets and your heirs and dictate what assets each one will receive. Creating a will is especially important if you have minor children because you need a legal document stating who you want to have custody of your children and estate until they reach the age of eighteen. If you do not create a will, this will be up to the court system and someone that has no former knowledge of you or your children. This is not a worthwhile risk and meeting with Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C. will help to eliminate it.
When you list out your assets in a will, they do not automatically transfer to your heirs. Upon your death, an announcement must be made of your passing and a period of time given for creditors to make legitimate claims against the estate. As much as possible, legitimate debts need to be paid, and this is typically done as part of the probate process. Once the debts have been paid, the remaining assets can be distributed amongst your heirs, and it will typically be done according to the wishes laid out within your will although your heirs can contest it. If you own property in NJ and another state, they will have to go through the probate process in both places.
Creating a Living Trust
If you are looking for additional protections speak with Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C. about establishing a living trust. When a trust is created, it becomes its own entity and like a person or business, it can hold assets. We recommend that you transfer all of your assets into the trust other than your daily checking account. For example, you can put your savings account, brokerage accounts, CD’s, cars, houses and more into the trust. When you do so, the ownership transfers immediately. This is a benefit because when you pass, these assets don’t have to be transferred from you to your heirs. Instead, the trust can make payments to your heirs directly or transfer assets like houses as dictated by your will or other trust agreements without needing to go through the probate process. This saves your heirs time and money. It also provides a level of protection against liability now, while you are alive. People throughout New Jersey use a trust as a way to guarantee that their wishes will be carried out upon their death.
Another benefit to creating a trust is that if you own property in more than one state as many retirees do, your heirs won’t have to go through probate in multiple locations. Keep in mind that when you pass, your heirs will be dealing with the emotion of it so anything you can do to make the process easier, is advisable. At Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C., we can discuss different scenarios with you and identify what can be done now to prepare for a smooth transition of ownership in the future.
Many people throughout the 08750 area worry that if they have a trust they will be unable to continue to operate their lives like normal. This is not the case. As long as you keep your daily checking account out of the trust, you can live life like you always have, even though your other assets are owned by the trust. If you have rental properties, for example, the trust can own them and make payments to you so that you can still receive the income. For more information on how this works, call (732) 449-0449 to schedule a consultation with Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C..
In New Jersey, there are limits to the value of an estate before federal or state estate taxes kick in. As long as you are under the threshold your estate won’t have to pay taxes. This amount can change based on the state and federal legislature, so call Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C. for the current limits. During the consultation, we will let you know if you are approaching the limit or it looks like you will do so before your death. If so, we can make recommendations for what you can do in order to transfer some of your assets now, before you pass. For example, you are allowed to gift a certain amount to your heirs every year while you are still alive. These strategies can be discussed in detail at our 08750 law office so that you can have a comprehensive strategy that works both now and in the future. If necessary, we can also involve a tax attorney or CPA to provide further assistance.
The Value of Estate Planning
As a Sea Girt estate planning attorney, we recommend that everyone have an estate plan, regardless of how old they are. Many people in their twenties, thirties, and forties neglect to plan because they think they won’t need a will or trust for a long time. Unfortunately, you can’t plan for the unexpected so the best way to protect your assets and your heirs is to create an estate plan now. This is especially important if you have children. For assistance, call (732) 449-0449 and speak with Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C. today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Estate Planning
If you live in Monmouth County and are considering how to plan for your future, you likely have some questions about the estate planning process. Attorney Anthony J. Cafaro is an experienced professional who can answer your questions about estate planning and explain how you may best protect your assets for the benefit of your loved ones. Please see below for more detailed information regarding estate planning laws in New Jersey.
What is a will?
A will is a written document that takes effect upon the creator’s death. A will typically determines how someone’s assets and personal effects are distributed, and may also appoint a personal representative to handle the estate and name a guardian for any minor children.
What should I consider when I create a will?
The information you need to create a will depends on the number of investments and assets you have. Generally, you should list any real estate you own, personal property such as bank accounts, and personal effects such as valuables. Also, since your will determines who gets what property, you should consider how you wish to distribute your estate among your family, based on your wishes and your family’s limitations. Importantly, you should consider the person you wish to administer your estate.
What else do I need to think about besides my will?
A will is a vital step in the estate planning process. However, some other considerations may apply under New Jersey law: Surviving Spouse Laws: If you sign a will before marriage and your spouse is not mentioned in the will, New Jersey law presumes your surviving spouse is entitled to a share in your estate. In addition, he or she has the right to take under the will or take his or her elected share. Marital Agreements: You and your spouse can avoid the laws above by simply creating a marital agreement which exempts your estate from application of the laws.
What does probate mean?
Probate is the process in which the instructions in your will are carried out. The process entails verifying your will, paying appropriate taxes, and administering your will.
How can I learn more about estate planning services in New Jersey?
Estate planning is complicated and is best left to a qualified attorney experienced with drafting legal documents. If you want to start planning for you and your family’s future, please contact Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Monmouth County estate planning lawyer.
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