Wills & Estates
“Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
When you die, if you haven’t looked at how assets are held, your estates may not resolve itself the way you might have wanted. And your estate may end up having to pay taxes that might have been avoided through careful planning.
Did you know that 55% of all adults in the US do not have a will? Those who don’t say it’s because they don’t want to think about dying or becoming incapacitated. Many also believe that if they die without a will, their entire estate will automatically go to their spouse. Not so in New Jersey.
At Turp, Coates we have significant experience in settling estates and litigating them if need be. Proper planning, using wills and trusts, can help you control your estate, leverage tax laws to your advantage, protect your family and others and ensure that your wishes are carried out. And through powers of attorney and living wills, you can control your end of life.
By truly understanding your assets, we an help you come up with a plan to effect your wishes, whether that takes the form of a trust for children, guardians for children, equitable division of property, care of a disabled child, planning for the education of children or grandchildren.
When you’re ready, come talk to us. To help you get started, use one of these forms to tell us a little about yourself (Single, Married). You can either send it to us or bring it with you. It will help us focus on your most important concerns first.
A well thought out estate plan includes these elements.
- Wills: This is a document that names one or more people to manage your estate and the disposition of any assets. In New Jersey intestacy laws determine who , how and when a decedent’s property will be distributed. With a will, you decide who will receive your assets.
- Testamentary Trusts and Trust Administration: Trusts are used to name someone to manage property for the benefit of others. Trusts can be created in your will for your spouse, children and others to protect them against loss or dissipation that might result from their experience. Also, trusts often save taxes. The Trustee under your will receives assets from your executor and hold them in trust under the terms of the will. The Trustee pays the trust income (and principal, if authorized to the beneficiaries . When the trust ends, the Trustee pays the trust principal to those designated in the will.
- Revocable Living Trust: This is a trust created during a lifetime. The trust provides the grantor with income and the grantor can withdraw all or part of the principal. The property in the trust at death passes according to the terms of the trust. An individual who creates a revocable living trust often places all or at least most of his or her assets in the trust.
- Powers of Attorney: This document authorizes one person to act on someone else’s behalf in a legal or business issue.
- Living Wills, Advanced Medical Directives or Health Care Proxies: These documents provide instructions for what actions should be taken regarding your health in the event you are no longer able to make decisions.
- Tax Planning: A tool to leverage current laws to benefit your estate and heirs.
In addition we can help you with:
- Probate and Probate Administration: Probate is a court proceeding that makes sure the document purporting to be the decedent’s will is valid and then insures that the will’s terms are carried out.
- Probate Court matters: This area includes guardianships for minors (under the age of 18) persons who are incapacitated, will contests, court approved accountings.
How can we help you?
The firm has extensive experience securing the approval of the state Attorney General. This is particularly useful when part of an estate is going to a public charity.
by Gary W.