Proper estate planning is essential to providing for your family’s future after your death. However, estate planning is rarely as simple as stating who you want to acquire your assets after you pass away. It is essential to have legally valid documents that leave no doubt about your wishes.
It is also crucial to ensure that your estate receives proper management. Naming a valid and willing executor can help guarantee a quick and efficient probate. Finally, accounting for all possible beneficiaries can help avoid confusion during a contentious probate process. A Cherry Hill estate planning lawyer is ready to evaluate your current needs and recommend steps to protect your immediate and long-term future. Our dedicated trusts and estates attorneys could take charge of your case, so reach out today to get started.
Taking Proper Stock of One’s Assets and Liabilities
The goal of any estate plan is to provide for one’s family and heirs after death. An estate distributes assets and pays off any debts a person may have accumulated before passing away. Of course, the first part of any proper estate plan is accurately accounting for these debts and assets.
For many people, this may be a simple process. An individual’s main asset may be the family home. They may also have retirement accounts, pensions, or other cash assets that are subject to distribution after death. On the other hand, a person may be carrying significant debts. All parties engaging in estate planning must understand their assets and liabilities to make proper arrangements in their wills or trusts. A skilled attorney in Cherry Hill is prepared to assist individuals with locating and identifying their assets – a crucial part of the estate planning process.
Accounting for all Possible Beneficiaries
One primary purpose of a will or other estate planning document is to dictate what happens to assets after death. A will works to circumvent the state’s laws that mandate inheritance preference upon death. If a will is invalid, or a person dies without a will, the law defaults to these inheritance rules.
Sadly, many wills face legal challenges. For example, a person who might stand to inherit a portion of a house but is not included in a will may argue that the document is invalid due to duress. If this argument succeeds, a court may entitle someone to receive their portion of an inheritance despite a testator’s wishes. It is essential that an estate plan specifically states a person’s wishes, especially if those wishes would intentionally disinherit potential heirs. A seasoned Cherry Hill lawyer knows how draft a comprehensive will as part of an estate plan.
Forming Legally Valid Documents
An effective estate planning document should leave no doubt as to a creator’s intent. Additionally, a will or trust lacks the intended legal power if it does not take the correct form. While state law allows a great deal of latitude when forming wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents, a person should take steps to give those documents the best possible chance of holding up in court.
For example, New Jersey Revised Statute § 3B:3-2 says that a will must contain the signature of the maker and at least two witnesses who observed the signing. Similar concepts apply to trusts, powers of attorney, and other documents. Allowing an estate planning attorney in Cherry Hill to take the lead provides the best possible chance of meeting all legal requirements.
Speak with a Cherry Hill Estate Planning Attorney Now
Effective estate planning involves more than writing down what you want to happen to your property after you die. Testamentary documents such as wills must take a valid form and contain proper signatures. In addition, trusts should name qualified trustees and speak specifically to a trust maker’s intent.
A Cherry Hill estate planning lawyer is ready to discuss your needs. Our team could work to evaluate your current status, locate and identify all your assets, explore your goals for the future, and draft documents that fulfill the state’s legal requirements. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.