Will Lawyer Elizabeth, NJWill Lawyer Elizabeth, NJ

Developing a will can be a lengthy process to complete, as a top will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ knows. Having a reputable and skilled will lawyer assist you with the process can help you craft your will quickly. If you are thinking of creating a will, you can trust an experienced lawyer from The Law Office of Wade Suthard to assist you with the process as well as any other general New Jersey estate planning topics.

Will Lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ

Estate planning can be hard to do without the help of a seasoned lawyer to guide you. With legal help provided by the skilled team at The Law Office of Wade Suthard, you can develop a clear outline of your estate planning agenda. Wade Suthard has years of experience helping clients become more informed about the basics of estate planning so they can create their plan efficiently and clearly. Arrange a consultation now to obtain personalized legal advice for any of your estate planning needs. 

The Purpose of a Will

Creating a will can serve several purposes, depending on your assets and goals. Anyone of all income backgrounds can benefit from creating a will as part of their estate plan. When you make a will, you get to decide who your assets will go to and how you want them to be managed and distributed after your death. 

What to Include in a Will 

If you are not sure what to include in your will, you are not alone. For many people, creating a will can be an intimidating process. There are many important decisions that must be made, and when you put them in a will, it is legally binding. While you can update your will any time, it is best to know what you should include. An experienced will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ can explain that key things to include in your will are your basic personal information, full list of assets, beneficiaries that your assets will go to, named executor, and how you want your assets to be managed and protected. 

Why It’s Beneficial to Hire a Lawyer

Though it is not necessary to hire a lawyer to validate a will, there are many advantages to having one as you create your will. They will be able to answer any of your questions during the process. A lawyer can assist you with making a will and can answer any questions you may have. If your will is especially complex, it helps to have a lawyer review it and ensure that everything is in order and you are not omitting crucial information. 

Five Mistakes To Avoid During Estate Planning

Not Considering Your Children’s Futures

When you create your will and other estate planning documents, carefully consider how you’re leaving things to your children. For example, if you have a collection of Santa Claus figurines, you wouldn’t want to leave it to your daughter, the Grinch of the family. If your children are very young, you can specify how the money they’re inheriting should be spent by their guardians on behalf of your children. A will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ, can help you word things appropriately for your children’s best benefit.

Getting Overly Specific

Normally, a will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ, at Wade Suthard, PC would want you to be as specific as you can when creating your estate plans. However, there is one exception. If you’re including assets you may not have years down the road, such as stocks, real estate or vehicles, you’ll need to update your estate planning documents more often if you no longer have those things in your possession.

Not Funding Your Trust the Right Way

A trust can be invaluable to your estate planning, as it can keep a great many of your assets out of probate. The problem you may run up against is if it’s improperly funded. You’ll need to make sure assets are titled in the name of the trust rather than in your name. You have to get a taxpayer identification number for the trust. A will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ, can help you get everything done the right way.

Forgetting To Consider Tax Implications

If you have an estate valued at $12.06 million or more, you’ll have to pay estate taxes. In New Jersey, one of 17 states with inheritance taxes, your heirs will have to pay up to 16% of their bequests’ value. You can reduce both tax burdens by giving your heirs up to $16,000 per year in gifts. A will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ can give you more specific guidance based on your estate.

Not Telling Anyone Where Your Estate Planning Documents Are

All the estate planning in the world doesn’t matter at all if your heirs can’t find your estate plan documents. Don’t put them in a safe deposit box at the bank; doing so can cause problems with access to the box. Keep them in a fireproof safe in your home, and tell your spouse, children, and closest friends where they are.  Make sure they know how to open the safe, too.

When You Should Write a Will

As Soon as You Accumulate Assets

Although you can legally write a will when you turn 18, a will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ will probably counsel you to write your first will when you start accumulating assets. For example, as you build your savings account, you may want your money to go to a specific person. When you begin purchasing real estate and other assets, it becomes more important to designate who receives what in the case of your untimely death.

If you do not have a will, your state will use precedent to divide your assets among your heirs, such as your blood relatives, children, spouse or domestic partner. You will not have control over who gets what. 

When You Are Expecting Children

The moment you, your spouse or significant other becomes pregnant or you have children, your will should be changed. Your will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ should change your will as quickly as possible once children are in the picture. Although many states will typically designate some portion of your estate to your children, you can ensure that they get the full support and provision they need.

Any family law firm, e.g., Wade Suthard, PC, will tell you that provision is not the only concern when you have children. You need to immediately name a guardian in case something happens to you. In many cases, the would-be guardian does not have to grant permission, but you may want to let these individuals know you are considering them and answer any questions they may have. Getting their permission is preferable. You can update guardianship as your children and would-be guardians age.

When Your Relationship Status Changes

A reputable law firm, such as Wade Suthard, PC, will ensure that your will stays up to date through regular contact. However, if your status changes, you need to let the firm know immediately so your will can be adjusted. Therefore, if you get married, divorced or change domestic partners, your will should be changed as well.

The courts have seen cases where an ex-husband or ex-wife has received life insurance distributions after the spouse has died. In some cases, this money should have gone to the surviving children instead. Also, your will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ can tell you whether your state will invalidate a will if it was crafted before you were married. The minute your union is validated, the will becomes invalid. This means that your spouse would only receive a portion of your estate as if you didn’t have a will at all when you died.

Arrange a Risk-Free Consultation 

Putting off an estate plan can be tempting, but there are a multitude of steps that need to be taken, and preparing one can take a long time. Deciding whether to use a will or trust can be hard if you are not sure what your goals are or how they work, but a will lawyer can help give you direction. Contact a will lawyer that Elizabeth, New Jersey residents trust now.

Who Should I Choose as My Executor?

If you are thinking about planning your estate and making a will, you will need to name someone as the executor. An executor plays an important role in the process of winding up your estate and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Hence, it is crucial that you think about who you should name.

If you are thinking about planning your estate, or you have been named as an executor and you need assistance with the process, you should contact a will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ who can help you with the process.

Duties of an Executor

When you are writing a will, you will need to name an executor, and also likely a backup executor. An executor plays a crucial role in the administration of an estate. The executor of a will is responsible for collecting and protecting the assets of the estate, paying the bills of the estate, including creditors and taxes, inventorying the estate, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. If necessary, the executor will also need to offer the will for probate. These duties are important, but also may sound daunting, so you should name someone to the role who will be good at it.

What to Look for in an Executor

Executors are usually either family members, close friends, or business acquaintances. However, there is an option of choosing a professional as an executor, but the fees may be prohibitive for many estates. If you do decide to go with a layperson, here are some qualities an Elizabeth, NJ will lawyer suggests you may want to look for:

  •     Impartiality – Depending on how your will is written, and your family dynamics, you may want to try to avoid conflicts of interest. For example, if you have several children that do not get along and that is who your estate is going to be, it may make sense to name a different family member to minimize conflict. However, if your entire estate is going to your spouse, you can name them as an executor since there is no one else to accuse them of being unfair.
  •     Basic understanding of finances – While you do not need to be a professional to be the executor of a will, having a basic understanding of accounting and how to gather assets, pay creditors and taxes, and a basic understanding of the probate process.
  •     Someone who knows when to get help – This is one of the most important qualities of an executor since knowing when to hire an expert is a main part of the job. A qualified will lawyer can help walk them through the process.

 Let Us Help You Today

Estate planning, including naming an executor for your will, is a complicated process that relies on knowledge of different estate planning tools and techniques to make sure that your estate is free from unnecessary fees and taxes and that it is administered properly. Call Wade Suthard, P.C. to meet with an Elizabeth, NJ will lawyer.