A study by the American Bar Association (ABA) shows that over 55% of Americans die intestate. It might not sound like a big issue to you now, but if you have followed the messy situation that arises when a family patriarch or matriarch dies without a will, you start appreciating the importance of estate planning when you are alive.
At a glance, you might think that an estate comprises of property that the wealthy own. Well, everyone owns an estate which includes everything you call yours from your car, home, investments, insurance, furniture, personal possessions, royalties from your works, among other valuables.
That being said, you have to appreciate this is an involving process and not a one-off measure. It involves you, the family and even charitable organizations you might want to share your property with in case of your death.
At Zapicchi & Liller, we understand how intense this process can get, and with our rich background in estate planning, we help make the process less daunting. Our legal experts help you maneuver through the process to ensure every single bit of the process is legally covered.
Estate planning at our NJ firm will involve:
From our experience in this area of law, we advise our clients on the importance of other legally binding documents in estate planning such as a ‘do not resuscitate’, legacy letter, tax documentation, and agreements on your digital legacy. All these depend on specific situations, and our legal experts will work with you to ensure every aspect of your estate is catered for.
While the legal jargon can be limiting to most household owners wishing to plan their estates, we try to demystify it. The New Jersey intestacy statute is quite forthright. These laws indicate to whom your property will go to in case you don’t have a will.
These beneficiaries can be descendants, parents, maternal grandparents, step children or a surviving spouse. However, each family situation is analyzed differently depending on the situation. This is where our expertise comes in handy to help you plan for any contingencies.
The basics of estate planning revolve around using an experienced attorney to help formulate a will, which is the cornerstone of the process, use trusts as complements to wills, understand the estate tax system, understand the issue of the executor, and choosing the right one, and ensuring the right beneficiaries benefit.
As the cornerstone of estate planning, a will has to be comprehensive and legally formulated. We ensure the will is according to state laws: be of sound mind when preparing it and have witnesses as stipulated under the law. These legal documents can be handwritten, holographic, or nuncupative.
At Zapicchi & Liller, we also help you formulate a fiduciary arrangement where you allow a third party to hold your assets on behalf of beneficiaries. It removes the need for probate or other legal suits when you die thus protecting your family’s privacy. We advise our clients to use this arrangement to save on taxes, protect their families and protect a solid financial legacy.
Call us at (609) 291-9500 for our experience and knowledge in creating wills.