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PAIN-FREE ESTATE PLANNING

We have been preparing estate planning documents for well over thirty years, for thousands of clients, maybe more. ?We have always taken a simple is better approach, whenever possible, and there are very few situations where it is not possible.

We also do a fair amount of probate work, which means we get to see what other attorneys are doing with regard to estate planning. ?All too often, the families that come to have us probate their Wills, and review Trusts, etc., are frustrated and confused by the documents prepared by other law firms. ? It is quite obvious to us that this “keep it simple” approach is not the norm amongst the vast majority of law firms. ?I am constantly amazed at how other law firms can take a fairly simple state of family and financial affairs, and turn it into a major project. ?When I ask the client if they understand the documents they are showing me, they always say either “no” or “not really,” which is no surprise to me at all. ?Most of these plans have a fairly complex trust, almost impossible to read. ?When I ask the client what the trust was supposed to accomplish, they either say, “I don’t really know,” or “to save on taxes,” or “to avoid probate.” ?When I ask why they are trying to avoid probate, they generally say that probate is expensive or it is complicated. ?Neither is true in New Jersey. ?Plus, these trusts usually don’t avoid probate. ?They might avoid probating some things in the estate, but not everything. ? Since trusts don’t save on taxes (with very rare exceptions), the only reason left is because in the legal world, complicated equals costly.

We don’t need the money badly enough to try to bill you for preparing documents you don’t really need. ?And we will never prepare something that you do not understand. ?If you don’t understand it, we have not done a good job for you.

Do we prepare trusts? ?Sure. ?Do we like preparing trust? ?Of course, but only when they are warranted. ?Trusts are not only useful, they can be essential in some circumstances. ?During our initial visit, we can talk more about trusts. ?Just be forewarned that if I don’t think it is a good fit, I will try to talk you out of it. ?If I cannot talk you out of it, then we will do as you say and prepare the trust for you. ?We have a whole section on trusts if you want to read more. ?Just click on this LINK.

In addition to preparing a Last Will and Testament, we also prepare a Power of Attorney, and an?Advance Health Care Directive, and a?HIPAA Release. ?(Click on any one to learn more. ?No extra charge.)

Although we don’t think trusts are for everyone, we do prepare a very simple trust for most of our clients. ?We call it a Trust for Younger Beneficiaries. ? Many families have minor children, or grandchildren, so we think it is a good idea to put their money in a very simple trust (maybe a page and a half long) to protect their inheritance until they reach a certain age; usually 23 years old. ?You can click on this LINK to learn more on this topic.

Preparing these four important documents is a THREE STEP PROCESS.

Step 1: ?Telephone or Office Consultation. ?We set up an appointment to discuss your family’s specific needs and estate planning goals. ?We can either do it by way of telephone, video conferencing, or in person in our office. ?Very rarely do we make house visits. ?It is just to costly for the client.

Step 2: ?Draft Documents. ?Based upon our discussion in the initial conference, our staff will prepare draft documents for review by an attorney. ?Once approved, it will be mailed to you via regular mail for you to review . ?Then, you will call us with any questions or comments you may have, and we make any changes as we speak.

Step 3: ?Document Signing. ?Obviously, the documents need to be signed properly. ?The importance of this step cannot be over emphasized. ?A mistake in this step could lead to costly and irreversible errors, essentially negating all our efforts up to this point. ?This particularly pertains to the Last Will and Testament that needs to be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses and one notary public, all three of which we provide.

Our fees our published on this website. ?Just click on this LINK to see what we charge for these services. ?We accept credit cards, but prefer payment by check. ?If you want to pay by credit card, we pass along the 3.0% bank processing fee that we are charged when you pay with a credit card.

To get started, and using your cell phone, just tap ? ? ??609-654-5489

If you prefer E-MAIL, ?go to ?Contact Us? and we will get right back to you.