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Hammonton Estate Planning Lawyer

Few people want to engage in estate planning because they don’t want to think about what happens when they get old and eventually die. However, estate planning is probably the best way to gain peace of mind about what is coming down the road in your golden years.

At Scott Counsel, we strive to help our clients realize all their estate planning goals. This begins with discussing what our clients hope to achieve and then explaining their legal options. With the right estate plan, our clients should leave our office confident that their loved ones will be provided for and that they will live out their senior years with dignity. Speak with a Hammonton estate planning lawyer today.

Estate Planning Services

Estate planning is a large area of law. Scott Counsel can help with any of the following, depending on our client’s needs:

  • Wills. A will is a basic building block of any estate plan. You can name your representative in the will and identify who will receive your property at death. Some clients only need a will, while others will benefit from using a trust as well.
  • Trusts. A trust is an excellent way to distribute property and obtain tax advantages. Trust assets are managed by a trustee for the benefit of beneficiaries. Our clients can create trusts during their lifetime or testamentary trusts which come into existence on death.
  • Special Needs Trusts. These trusts provide for a loved one who is disabled. If you simply leave assets to them, they might be disqualified from government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.
  • Medicaid Planning. Nursing home care can bankrupt all but the truly wealthy. Fortunately, New Jersey law allows individuals to protect assets by moving them into a trust and still qualify for Medicaid.
  • Living Wills. A living will allows an individual to identify what medical care they want in an end-of-life situation.
  • Power of Attorney. Our clients can give a person the power to act as their agent for financial and health care matters. Some POAs become effective immediately, while others will spring into action if you are rendered incapacitated.
  • Estate Tax Planning. Estate taxes can shock many beneficiaries who might need to liquidate assets (like a home) to pay them. Our team can minimize estate taxes while still following state and federal laws.
  • Veterans Benefits. Veterans might qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, which can pay for care as a veteran ages.

These are some of the most important estate planning services Scott Counsel offers. Contact us to learn more.

Why You Need a Hammonton Estate Planning Lawyer

We appreciate that this is a Do-It-Yourself culture, and there are ample materials online promising to guide people step-by-step in the creation of their wills, trusts, or living wills. Unfortunately, legal documents like these are not as simple as they are presented online.

Proper estate planning requires understanding your objectives and how different pieces of an estate plan fit together. For example, you might want to divide your estate evenly between your children. However, some assets—like retirement accounts or life insurance—are not distributed by will. Instead, our clients name a beneficiary on the plan document. Someone relying on a computer program might assume they are making an even distribution to their children when, in reality, one child could end up receiving more of these non-probate assets.

Another key concern is choosing the right person to represent you or your estate. If you are incapacitated, your attorney-in-fact named in a power of attorney will make decisions for you. Choosing the correct person is more complex than people imagine. For example, your husband or wife might not be the best choice if they are physically infirm themselves.

Your choice of personal representative also matters. This person will shepherd your estate through probate and must deal with claims against your estate (like unpaid bills). They might also need to referee disputes between family members. Choosing the right representative can reduce tensions in your family and ensure your wishes are truly respected after you die. Let our Hammonton estate planning lawyer discuss who might make a good representative for you.

It’s Never Too Early to Begin Estate Planning

Some people think, “I’ll start estate planning when I’m 50.” Or when they turn 50, they think, “I can wait until 60.” In truth, there is no reason to wait. Anyone can benefit from creating an estate plan right now.

Some pieces of an estate plan might kick in when you are young. For example, you might become incapacitated in a car accident. Your living will and power of attorney will ensure that you are treated with dignity when you cannot speak for yourself. Should you die, the guardians named in your will can raise your young children. These are only some of the ways that estate plans impact a young person’s life.

Going without an estate plan can also be incredibly costly. Your heirs might pay more in estate taxes or exhaust an estate engaging in a will contest. Heirs who might qualify for government benefits could be disqualified because they receive assets. Estate planning is a deliberate, thoughtful process that aims to maximize the well-being of you and your family—now and in the future.

There is another disadvantage to waiting. When you need an estate plan—because of a serious illness or dementia—it might be too late to create one. A person in New Jersey needs the legal capacity to create the documents listed above, otherwise, they would be legally ineffective. By the time dementia sets in and you need to create a will, for example, it could be much too late.

Cases We Handle

  • Asset Protection
  • Business Succession
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Living Wills
  • Power Of Attorney
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Veteran Benefits

Contact Our Hammonton Estate Planning Attorneys Today

The entire legal team at Scott Counsel is committed to helping clients obtain peace of mind through estate planning. If you have never created a will, or if you want to revise an estate plan to account for changed circumstances, please contact us today. We offer a confidential consultation with a member of our team if you call 856-925-7281.

Virtual Consultations Include the WHOLE Family

When families live far apart or seniors have mobility issues, a virtual meeting with Scott Counsel makes it easy to include everyone in the conversation.

Peace of mind starts with a FREE Consultation.