Forming a comprehensive estate plan is the only way to ensure that your desires for your hard-earned possessions become a reality in the future. A sturdy estate framework helps in cases where you want to direct your assets and in situations where you want to provide extended care for others.
Unfortunately, there are many common issues that families run into while making inheritance decisions. For example, something as simple as a misplaced signature could invalidate a will. Meanwhile, selecting beneficiaries who are unable to directly inherit property could make an estate plan less effective.
Working with an attorney in Mount Laurel could help you understand and overcome the issues that people commonly face when assembling their estate plan. Recognizing the potential impact of these complications with the help of an adaptable estate planning attorney could help you avoid them in the future.
Choosing the Right Estate Framework
The most fundamental issue that can affect estate plans in Mount Laurel is improperly selecting the documents needed for one’s circumstances. Historically, most people drafted comprehensive wills to ensure that their assets were transferred to their intended heirs after death. While it is true that wills are still essential components of an estate plan, numerous options now exist that could provide more flexibility, depending on a family’s situation.
A trust is a common alternative to a standard will. These documents still allow for the transfer of a decedent’s assets, but they minimize a lengthy probate process and thwart common tax concerns. Furthermore, trusts can go into effect at any point in the future, not just after the maker’s death. Many people do not recognize the potential benefits that trusts could bring, so they choose a will instead.
Individuals should be sure to consult a knowledgeable Mount Laurel attorney when choosing a testamentary framework since legal counsel could assess a person’s circumstances and help minimize problems with estate planning.
Ensuring that Estate Planning Documents Are Legally Valid
Anyone creating a testamentary document like a will or trust has the right to include any clauses they wish. They can select their heirs, dictate what they want to happen to their property, and disinherit anyone they choose.
However, there is no room for flexibility when it comes to the legally required formatting rules. For example, New Jersey Revised Statute §3B:3-2 clearly outlines the strict signature requirements for a valid will. Documents that do not satisfy these conditions might still carry the intended legal impact, but they could face significant challenges during the probate process. Similar rules concern the creation of trusts, powers of attorney, and other testamentary documents. A detail-oriented Mount Laurel lawyer could oversee the drafting of these documents to lessen estate planning issues.
Selecting the Best Possible Beneficiaries
Another common issue in Mount Laurel estate plans concerns a person incorrectly selecting beneficiaries. While it is mostly true that the author of an estate plan is free to select whoever they want, there are some notable limitations.
For example, a child cannot immediately inherit property, possessions, or assets. If a child is named as an heir in a will and they are not yet an adult, the property in question will be placed in trust or in the care of a guardian. For these reasons, anyone drafting a will should carefully consider whether it is within their best interests to list a child as a beneficiary. A trust would be a better option for anyone hoping to pass valuables down to their children.
Another estate planning issue that people regularly face is the devaluation of their inheritance after they select an heir. If a beneficiary lives in a state that collects a tax on inheritances, a decedent’s estate could lose value over time. New Jersey does not impart taxes on inheritances, so a Mount Laurel attorney might advise someone drafting an estate plan to avoid problems by selecting beneficiaries in the state. Carefully reducing tax burden could effectively lessen one’s issues with their estate plan.
A Mount Laurel Attorney Could Help Fix Common Estate Planning Issues
After a loved one passes away, the last thing that family members should have to worry about is whether the estate plan the decedent constructed is lawful. Unfortunately, these frameworks can be invalidated or devalued by small issues. Missing or misplaced signatures could lead to will challenges, and tax policies could dramatically lower the worth of an inheritance.
If you are drafting a will or testamentary document for the future, a meticulous legal advocate could help you minimize issues with estate planning in Mount Laurel. A team member could outline your rights and help you choose the best documents for the specifics of your life. Reach out today for further information.