Estate Planning Is Key, and Our Ridgewood Attorneys Can Help

People often forget about estate planning until the last minute when they need it the most. Estate planning by definition is the arrangement & planning during a person’s life for the management and disposal of that person’s estate, or in other words their possessions. The disposal of the estate would come once the owner of the estate has passed. It can be difficult to understand everything that goes into an estate plan.

That’s where an estate planning attorney comes in. An estate planning attorney will draft living trusts and develop plans to diminish estate taxes. Our estate planning attorneys at The Manna Helmy Law Group are well-versed & up-to-date on the estate laws of New Jersey & New York.

An estate plan can be simple or complex, basic or elaborate. Whatever the shape and form of the plan, it can provide for your loved ones and give you peace of mind.

At the law firm of The Manna Helmy Law Group, our Ridgewood estate planning attorneys create estate plans for people in all walks of life. We are highly experienced in this area and understand the many creative uses of estate documents and vehicles. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need an estate planning attorney in Allendale, Fair Lawn, Ramsey, & Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Midland Park, Paramus, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick, Wyckoff, NJ or the surrounding areas.

Providing a Full Range of Services to Help Plan for Your Family’s Future

Our firm provides a full range of estate planning services including:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts
  • Gifting strategies
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Health care directives (living wills)
  • Other estate planning services

Our estate planning attorneys provide advice and services for people with medium to large estates.

Estate Planning for People with Disabilities

If you have a disabled child, spouse or relative, you are presented with a unique set of problems. If the disabled person is receiving Medicaid or other government benefits, or may be eligible for them in the future, these benefits may be needs-based. By that, it is meant that the disabled person must be poor to receive them. Should these people inherit wealth, it could disqualify them for Medicaid and other needs-based assistance, effectively knocking them off these government programs that are paying for their care. Their inherited wealth would then have to be used to pay for their care until it is spent down, at which point Medicaid or similar programs would resume paying for the disabled person’s care. The net result is that the person would not receive any better care and the inherited wealth would be wasted.

We can present to you all of the methods available to provide for such a disabled person, without losing these very valuable government benefits. Methods such as disinheritance, supplemental needs trusts and irrevocable trusts should all be discussed, and the pros and cons of each method thoroughly reviewed.

The Estate Planning Process

We will begin the estate planning process by getting to know you, your family and your financial situation. We will learn about your hopes and dreams as well as areas of concern and anxiety. We will then create an estate plan that will accomplish your goals and reflects your values.

As your family and financial situations change, it makes sense to revisit your estate plan. The birth of a child, a marriage or divorce — these or other events may require changes to your existing plan or require additional documents or estate vehicles.

Creative Estate Tax Minimization Strategies

Our attorneys have a great deal of experience in the uses of the law to minimize estate taxes.

We understand how to use trusts and gifting in creative ways to achieve your goals and which reduce or eliminate the payment of estate taxes. We can discuss your needs and potential tax minimization strategies with you.

Common Estate Planning Questions

Many people are inexperienced in regard to estate planning, and it is very normal to have questions. Below are some basic questions and answers. For more specifics, please come into the office and ask one of our attorneys your questions.

Why is estate planning important?

An estate plan is a roadmap for your loved ones to follow after you pass. It makes sure they know what you want them to do with your hard-earned possessions, who should get what and how to manage the process. A proper estate plan ensures that your heirs follow your wishes and reduces conflict in the wake of your death.

When should you do estate planning?

Your estate plan should be as up to date as possible. If you do not already have a will, you should make one now. Then, update it after any major life events, like the purchase of a house, the birth of a child, a marriage or a divorce.

What elements should I include in my estate plan?

Your estate plan should include a full accounting of your assets, including property, cash, investments and pensions. It should also name a guardian for any minor children or dependents you may have.

What does a trustee or executor do?

A trustee or executor is the person in charge of managing your estate plan. In the case of a will, you will name an executor – often, a trusted person like a child or sibling – to manage distributing property to your heirs, selling your house and other administrative tasks. A trustee is a manager for a trust and is often an attorney or third party.

What is probate?

Probate is a legal process that provides a set of rules for property that you do not put in a will or a trust. It can be a lengthy and complex process. The best way to avoid probate is to keep your estate plan current.

How often should an estate plan be updated?

You should update your estate plan after almost every major life event. If you get married or divorced, have a child, change jobs or make a major financial decision, then you should update your estate plan.

Contact Us for Experienced Help

For more information about the benefits of living trusts and other estate planning devices, speak with us. Contact our Ridgewood estate planning attorneys online or call 201-345-3018 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey and New York.