Across the world, nearly everyone should be making decisions over how they are planning for their future; one critical component to this process is to reach out to our NJ estate planning lawyer. At Klenk Law, our team of experienced professionals can assist with your estate planning needs. While the process of estate planning can feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Nearly 50% of all Americans put off estate planning, a staggering number that leaves those who fail to do estate planning at risk for having their voices silenced for the long term. By taking the time to prepare information prior to our meeting properly, our team can assist with developing your estate planning in a way that takes the pressure off while also providing peace of mind in knowing that your wishes are clearly outlined.
Preparation Ensures an Easy Process
Once you have scheduled an appointment with our firm, you should take the time to prepare for our first meeting. While navigating the estate planning process can feel overwhelming, with our assistance, we can develop a plan that clearly outlines your wishes for the future. You have worked hard to build your life, and you deserve to see your assets distributed and your wishes carried out. By providing the following, our NJ estate planning lawyer can help make critical decisions for the future that help ensure your loved ones can carry out your legacy:
Put together a list so that you can stay on task.
When at your first appointment, there will be much to discuss, and it can be easy to get off track or feel lost over what to happen next. Before your first appointment, take the time to put together a list of questions you may have regarding the process. By doing this ahead of time, you will make sure that you stay on task and feel as though your meeting with us is as productive as possible.
Be thinking about your beneficiaries.
Chances are, you already have a good idea of who you want to manage your estate, take care of your children, and leave your assets. However, sometimes, people may still feel unsure. Start thinking about these critical decisions and list their important details such as name, address, date of birth, ages, etc. Our team can provide assistance through this process by ensuring that all beneficiaries are identified and that you have backup heirs, executors, and guardians should they be necessary.
Bring information about your assets.
Information regarding your assets, real estate property and personal property are imperative when developing an estate plan. While taking an inventory may take some time, bringing this information can help our team review your situation and develop options for you. For example:
Most people dread the process of estate planning. However, when you put the initial effort into gathering information before your first meeting, you can ensure that you can move through this process efficiently.
What is a Living Trust and Do I Need One?
A living trust is an estate planning tool that may help you avoid the probate process for some or all of your assets and minimize taxes on your estate. It is a living trust because you create it during your lifetime, and it can be either revocable or irrevocable. The primary differences between the two are whether you can take assets out of the trust if you choose to and how it is identified for tax filing purposes.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust can allow assets to be excluded from the probate process. The trust becomes active when you sign it, and it is set up using your Social Security number as the tax ID. The benefit of a revocable living trust is that you retain control of your assets throughout your life. You can move assets in and out of the trust, and if you want to, you can dissolve the trust completely. Once in the trust, assets become the trust’s property, but you as the grantor can act as the trustee and access them as you wish. While a revocable trust protects assets from the probate process, it does not protect them from creditors. The trust remains revocable until your death when it will automatically become irrevocable.
Irrevocable Living Trust
An irrevocable living trust becomes the owner of your assets and has its own tax ID number. Once the property is in this type of trust, it is usually there to stay until your death. Like the revocable trust, an irrevocable living trust can also keep the assets it contains out of the probate process. Once in the irrevocable trust, your assets belong to your beneficiaries under the management of the trustee you select. While you typically cannot move assets out of an irrevocable trust, they are safe from your creditors as well as the tax liability on the income the assets generate. Since trust assets are held separately from your estate, you may be protected from estate taxes by reducing the total amount of the estate, possibly below the taxable threshold.
There are other types of trust designed to meet specific estate planning goals. Whether you want to avoid probate, minimize estate taxes or simplify the execution of your final wishes, a living trust may be the right tool for you. Note that state trust laws vary, so call our living trust lawyer to determine the laws in your state and schedule a consultation.
Rely on Our Team
While developing an estate plan may seem relatively straightforward, the process can be complicated without guidance from a professional. To ensure that you receive an estate plan that leaves nothing to the imagination. With our help, you will receive:
While estate planning can feel like a huge undertaking, it doesn’t have to be. To learn more about the services offered at Klenk Law, schedule an appointment with our NJ estate planning lawyer as soon as possible.
Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!
Excellent, knowledgeable team handled a complicated issue with superb results.
I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.
Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.
Mr. Klenk has been easy to work with. I am confident he has given me good advice whenever I have called upon him. He has shown good work ethic and depth of knowledge in preparation of estate, wills, and trusts that I have worked with him on.