Northern New Jersey Estate Planning Lawyers

Sussex County attorneys create legacy plans

You likely have your own ideas for the preservation and ultimate distribution of your assets later in life and after you’ve passed away., The northern New Jersey estate planning lawyers at Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Vandenberg, Hontz & Kutyla, LLC can give your goals and instructions legal force. From offices in Newton and Succasunna, our attorneys work closely with clients to establish well-rounded estate plans tailored to their circumstances and priorities. While everyone should have a valid will in place, we can show you how a trust, durable power of attorney or other estate planning instrument might also benefit you and your family. 

New Jersey laws that affect estate planning

Smart estate planning involves knowledge of legal and financial matters, but if you should ask why is estate planning important, the best answer is that it protects the people you love. Your husband, wife, children, parents or other family members might not receive the benefits you want to provide them if you don’t take steps beforehand. Unwanted outcomes could include invalidated documents, assets being allocated according to intestacy laws, unnecessary taxation and wasteful estate administration from someone appointed by the court. Absent proper counsel, your will could be subject to a contest based on alleged undue influence or lack of capacity. As experienced New Jersey estate planning attorneys, we ensure that each document we prepare complies with witness attestation requirements and other legal formalities. 

Key components of a New Jersey estate plan

If you’re wondering who needs estate planning, the answer is simple. Every adult should have an enforceable program in place, even if only simple arrangements are required. Specific items on your estate planning checklist might include the following:

  • Last will and testament
  • Revocable and/or irrevocable trust that can help your loved ones avoid probate and that can serve other functions
  • Durable power of attorney naming an agent to handle legal responsibilities if you are incapacitated
  • Healthcare directive stating your medical treatment preferences if you are unable to communicate
  • Guardianship designation for your minor children
  • Asset protection instrument to shield your wealth from creditors
  • Plan to cover long-term care costs
  • Methods of reducing estate tax exposure
  • Special needs trust to provide financial support for a family member with a disability

We have the skill and creativity to determine what belongs in your comprehensive estate plan and to execute the best solution for you. 

Updating an estate plan

Active lives often call for revisions to legal instruments such as wills and trusts, as priorities and circumstances can change. People who might need estate planning updates include those who have recently married, divorced or become parents. A financial windfall, such an inheritance or business success, should also lead you to reevaluate your needs. Whether a recent event has got you thinking about a change or you just have not reviewed your estate plan for a while, we are here to help. 

Preparing to meet with an NJ estate planning attorney

Numerous estate planning options exist, and there might be considerations you’ve overlooked. When you’re ready to discuss your situation with an attorney, you should bring a rundown of major assets and names of potential beneficiaries. It’s also a good idea to think about who might be a capable estate executor or trustee. Along with your priorities for the dispersal of property up on your death, you might also want to address health-related contingencies that might arise during your lifetime. As experienced NJ elder law attorneys, we know how failing to plan for long-term care costs and decision-making during a medical crisis can be devastating to families. 

When to begin a New Jersey estate plan

You should not wait for your first house, your first child or your first million to develop a sound estate plan. Nothing is certain in life and you deserve to be able to distribute the assets you’ve accumulated based on your priorities, not the state’s intestacy rules. We give each client personalized advice based on where they are in life and help them build long-term relationships based on mutual trust so that they can come to us as their goals and financial circumstances change. 

Contact a knowledgeable New Jersey estate planning lawyer

Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Vandenberg, Hontz & Kutyla, LLC provides comprehensive counsel on estate planning matters for residents of Sussex and Morris counties, as well as other New Jersey locations. From offices in Newton and Succasunna, we prepare wills, trusts and other enforceable estate planning instruments. Please call 973-862-4396 or contact us online to schedule a consultation regarding your particular situation and goals.