What Should I Look for When Hiring A NJ Estate Planning Attorney?

by: Begley Admin

There is quite a bit of misinformation when it comes to estate planning. One of the most common misconceptions is that meeting with an estate planning lawyer is something that can wait until you’ve reached retirement. If you wonder whether you need estate planning services, chances are it’s time to meet with a New Jersey estate planning lawyer.

Even if you don’t believe that you have enough assets, or are not old enough to meet with an estate planning lawyer, doing so will help give you a frame of reference for the future, what it may bring, and how to best plan for it. Often, those who meet with an estate planning lawyer will quickly learn that they need more estate planning services than they previously realized. Below are a few examples of people who should meet with an estate planning lawyer.

Young families with minor children

Parents of minor children often assume that, should they pass away suddenly, their children will be cared for by a loved one. While this is generally true, there is no guarantee who will assume the care of a minor child if their parents unexpectedly pass away. Without a plan in place, other family members will need to go through the guardianship process.

The guardianship process involves the court delving into a family’s life to determine who is best suited to care for the children and make decisions on their behalf. Many parents would rather spare their family the burdens of going through the guardianship process.

Young professionals

It is common for young professionals working at their first job out of college to make more money than they have ever had before. These individuals, still believing in the invincibility of youth, often assume they do not need an estate plan. However, that is far from the case.

In the event of a sudden tragedy, a young professional without a will in place will have their assets distributed according to the New Jersey intestate laws. These rigid, inflexible laws, are meant to serve as a default for those without other plans in place, and do not do a very good job of effectuating a person’s desires. For example, intestate laws do not provide for leaving money to charity and, if they do not have a spouse or children, everything will be left to their parents.

Similarly, younger individuals benefit from having a healthcare directive, which outlines the care they want to receive in the event they suddenly become incapacitated and cannot communicate their desires to medical professionals. A power of attorney is also important, as it will delegate decision-making power over financial matters to another person.

Of course, those approaching retirement should also meet with an estate planning lawyer as soon as possible. Even those who have existing estate plans that have not been updated in a few years can benefit from reviewing their current estate plan to ensure that it still meets their needs.

If you have not yet created a New Jersey estate plan, or it’s been years since you last updated your estate plan, contact Begley Law Group for immediate assistance. Our dedicated team of estate planning attorneys will create a custom-tailored plan designed specifically for your family’s unique needs. Having served clients across New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania for the past 80 years, our strength comes from our experience. To learn more, call 856-235-8501, or toll-free at 800-533-7227. You can also reach out to us through our online form.