The Law Office of Frank J. Materia | Providing Professional Legal Services Throughout New Jersey

Guidance On Planning An Estate Or Handling Estate Administration

Two common misconceptions about estate planning is that it is only for people with extensive wealth and that it is something one does later in life. If you have any amount of assets, and you have loved ones in your life, an estate plan is a must no matter your age.

At The Law Office of Frank J. Materia, I can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that protects your assets and ensures those assets are passed to your loved ones according to your wishes when you die. A well-designed estate plan provides peace of mind that everything you have worked to accomplish and accumulate will not be for naught.

By taking a personal approach with every client, I am able to learn important details about their situation, their family and their wishes, not only about how to distribute their assets, but also regarding end-of-life health care wishes and who should be empowered to make financial and health care decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated.

If you own a business, succession planning is an essential component of any estate plan. My experience assisting businesses with legal issues helps me assist entrepreneurs and business partners in creating business succession plans. Schedule a meeting to learn more.

If You Are An Adult With Assets, You Need An Estate Plan

Whether you are 25 or 95, it is essential to have the basic elements of an estate plan in place. At the very least, this includes:

  • A will that explains how you wanted your assets to be treated upon your death
  • A durable power of attorney that designates someone you trust to handle your financial affairs if you are no longer able to do so
  • A health care proxy who will be able to make decisions about end-of-life care if you are no longer able to do so

If your assets are more complex, or there are aspects of your life that require special attention, additional estate planning tools may be necessary. This may include trusts that create shelters for certain holdings, such as a family business, or address how to financially support an adult child with special needs when you are no longer around to do so.

Navigating The Probate Process

I also provide guidance for navigating New Jersey probate. This is the process of gathering a decedent’s assets, paying debtors and distributing the remaining assets according to a decedent’s will. If there is no will, the New Jersey laws of intestacy are followed.

Probate may not be necessary. For example, if a decedent only held assets in joint tenancy, such as a bank account or a home, that goes to a surviving spouse who is named as the joint tenant. Assets that have a designated beneficiary or assets placed in a revocable trust may also bypass probate.

A Trusted Lawyer For Estate Planning Or Estate Administration

Every person’s situation is unique, which means every estate plan is also unique. Cookie-cutter approaches to creating estate plans do not work. I will take the time to create an estate plan that accomplishes your objectives.

If you are executor of an estate, I can review the details of the estate during a free consultation and help you determine if enlisting professional legal assistance is necessary. Call 973-866-5624 or use my online contact form to schedule a meeting.