Wills, Trusts and Estates

Planning for Wills, Trusts and Estates is a very sensitive and complex endeavor. Basic life planning, including a Will and a Living Will at a minimum, is important for everyone – no matter how much or how little you own.

By preparing a Basic Will, an individual gets to control how their property is distributed. Without a will, the government will determine how your property is distributed.


Protect Your Family – Understand Your Options

While the Will is considered the foundation of any good Estate Plan, it may not be the only legal document necessary to carry out your wishes. We also develop sophisticated Estate Plans based on each person and each family’s unique circumstances and specific situation.

When a loved one passes away, we are here for you: we work hard to provide compassionate help and effective legal services during your time of need.

The legal process of transferring a person’s assets after his/her death is known as Estate Administration. Probate is a part of the Estate Administration process. During probate, the deceased person’s Last Will and Testament is presented to the Surrogate’s Court, and the Heirs at Law are notified and informed of the Will. When the court determines that all is in order, the Executor is appointed. Then estate bills are paid, tax returns are filed, the assets are distributed according to the Will’s instructions and generally, the estate is closed after the assets are distributed.

If one does not have a Will, then his or her estate is handled with an Administrative Proceeding in Surrogate’s Court. An Administrator is appointed to represent the estate, conduct estate business, and distribute the assets according to New Jersey Law.

Trust Administration is the process where a trustee manages and distributes assets in the manner dictated by the terms of the trust instrument. While Estate Administration can span a period of many months, Trust Administration can span a period of many years, depending on the situation. Whether the Creator of the Trust is still living or is deceased, we ensure that the trust assets are properly managed according to your wishes.

Our comprehensive services also include Elder Law and Planning including:

  • Asset Protection Strategies
  • Medicaid Planning
  • Living Wills
  • Power of Attorney
  • Family Trusts & Special Needs Trusts

Important Information About Wills, Trusts and Estates from Askin & Hooker, LLC:

Is your Estate Plan Up to Date?

     Estate Planning is indeed an on-going process.  It should never be considered a one-and-done event.  As our families and needs evolve and change, the focus of the planning will shift over time. When I ask someone if they’ve got an estate plan in place – the...

BARRIERS TO ESTATE PLANNING

Less than 50% of married couples have established an estate plan. This is an alarming statistic and it suggests that there may be some psychological barriers that prevent people from preparing this vitally important plan for their families. Perhaps the constantly...

Do I ever need to update my estate plan and documents?

Despite all the thought and hard work that goes into creating your estate plan, things change, and sometimes those changes will require an update to your estate plan. Some of the reasons why you may decide to make updates to your estate plan include: Changes in Your...

DEATH TAXES

OK, just when you thought you would no longer have to worry about taxes. Yes, upon your death, your assets may be subject to estate taxation by the State of New Jersey and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In addition, beneficiaries inheriting from your estate may be...