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New Jersey Wills and Probate

Are you trying to cope after the recent death of a loved one in New Jersey? Is a mound of complex, fine-print legal forms for maneuvering through the Garden State’s probate system the last thing you want to confront? Is your head throbbing at the thought of having to read text replete with so much legal jargon it seems like a foreign language?

Before you become frustrated, discouraged, or even angered, local expert help is available to you.

New Jersey’s probate process can be tedious, time-consuming, detailed, and cumbersome. That’s a given. By partnering with a local will attorney who works diligently to avoid costly mistakes during estate administration, clients gain peace of mind. Plus, sophisticated financial and tax issues frequently arise in large estates, complicating things even more. In response, many grieving families astutely decide it is worthwhile to hire a probate lawyer to guide them through the maze.

What Is Estate Tax and Wealth Transfer Planning?

For clients with substantial assets, real estate holdings, or investments, the federal estate tax is formidable. The IRS’ estate tax poses a huge impediment to the preservation of wealth to pass along to future generations.  Learn more about taxes and the rich.

Fortunately, wills lawyers practicing in New Jersey have a large number of tools and resources at their fingertips to address the estate planning challenges associated with tax liability exposure. Probate attorneys help clients secure optimal outcomes under the constraints presented by the federal tax code. Will and probate attorneys work diligently in partnership with their clients to reduce, if not avoid entirely, liability for the following taxes:

  • Estate
  • Gift
  • Income
  • Generation-skipping transfer

A sound estate plan is one drafted by New Jersey’s probate lawyers who are knowledgeable about the most recent federal estate tax statutes; an even more desirable estate plan is one that has the flexibility built into it to protect against future impacts of potentially harmful tax legislation.

When Should I Start My Estate Plan?

New Jersey residents should heed two rules of thumb in estate planning timing: There is no such thing as too late to prepare an estate plan if you are alive and mentally sound, and there is no such thing as too early for beginning estate planning preparations. Common triggers for estate planning are:

  • Marriage
  • Home ownership
  • Inheritance
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Ownership of a large asset, such as a retirement fund or savings account

With these ground rules in mind, you should tackle several core estate planning goals immediately, regardless of financial status:

1. Prepare a will. The inflexible, harsh intestate succession laws that kick in when a person dies without a valid will often do not reflect the deceased's wishes for bequests to family members and others. Plus, with the appropriate will or trust in place, it is possible to avoid the cumbersome juggernaut of probate.

2. Think about Guardianship.  Parents of minor children should make decisions about guardianship and create a trust for their kids. No one wants to leave their child’s future and well-being at risk.

Contact a Local Wills and Probate Lawyer Today

Will and probate attorneys can advise whether an existing will or trust is legally valid. They will help you prepare an estate plan designed to avoid hefty tax burdens, fees, costs, and time delays. It is prudent to approach estate planning and administration early and to revisit the plan periodically to ensure it remains current and relevant. Call now to speak with a will and probate attorney in New Jersey at 877-913-7222.