Bergen County Estate Planning Lawyers

New Jersey Will Lawyers

Many people know what their wishes are for the distribution of their property after they die, but, most people also put off having a will drafted that will accomplish their goals. It is human nature to believe that there will always be time tomorrow.

To be effective, a Will must meet certain standards, including being properly executed and clearly defining the intentions of the client. No one wants a Will that can be successfully challenged because professional assistance has not been used in the creation of the Will. An experienced wills attorney can ensure that all of the necessary requirements are addressed without ambiguity and that your will is property executed. Minimizing ambiguity is the most effective way to reduce the potential for conflict or confusion during the probate of your will.

At Guston & Guston, LLP, our Bergen County estate planning attorneys bring decades of experience to the drafting of each client's Will. We do not believe that any Will is simple or that pre-printed forms or programs properly assist clients in making their directions known. To us, each Will is a special and personal document. Let us help create the direction and certainty that your family will need as your Will is drafted and probated. For homebound clients, we are available to meet by teleconference and to come to your home for your Will signing.

Critical Reasons to Have Your Will Drafted

For families with minor children, a primary task of a will would be the appointment of a guardian for minor children. For families that have changed over time due to divorce or remarriage, a well-drafted Will allows for your specific wishes to be known regarding assets and avoids conflict between first and second families. For single people and gay and lesbian couples, Wills and other estate planning documents can create legal rights where none may be recognized automatically by a state and can protect against the intrusion of unsupportive family members.

Failing to draft a will puts your estate under the control of state statutes. In other words, by not making your directions known, you are allowing the state to come in and dictate how your assets are distributed and may fail to provide for your loved ones. Failing to have a Will may also result in disputes between family members over the care of minor children.

An improperly drafted Will may also subject your estate to unnecessary taxation. Careful planning is needed to avoid taxation where possible. We can help with trusts and other planning to minimize the taxation of your estate.

Powers of Attorney

No one is automatically authorized to sign documents for you or to make medical decisions for you. To provide for these essential tasks should you become ill or disabled, Powers of Attorney are needed.

Living Wills

The decision to provide or withdraw medical treatment when you are terminally ill or injured is a highly personal decision and must be controlled by the patient. In order to have your voice heard, even when you can no longer communicate, a Living Will is essential to control end of life medical decisions.

Charitable Giving

To provide for your favorites charities or religious institutions, many people leave gifts in their Wills or establish trusts to benefit those institutions. We can assist in providing a plan that will assist your favorite non-profit groups and, perhaps, minimize taxation of your estate.

Probate Representation and Will Contests

If you have been appointed as the executor/trix of an estate, you have a serious and sometimes complex duty to fulfill. The responsibilities include the distribution of the assets, the payment of debts and the payment of taxes. Missteps in the fulfillment of these duties can be grounds for a challenge to your appointment and may put at risk your commission or portions of your own inheritance from the estate. We can represent you in your capacity as an executor or executrix.

We can also assist in the probate of lost Wills, handwritten or holographic Wills, searching for lost heirs, and creating accountings for the beneficiaries of an estate.

In addition to probate representation, our firm offers experienced will contest representation. If you feel that the terms of a Will are being misinterpreted, a deceased loved one was unduly influenced in making a will or the administration of an estate is being handled inappropriately, we can help your point of view be heard.

Contact Us

Drafting your Will sooner rather than later can help you provide for loved ones and minimize conflict in the future, call 201-447-6660 or simply contact us online to set up your initial consultation. Major credits cards and payment plans are accepted for our clients' convenience.