NJ & NY Estate Planning Lawyer

Our New Jersey and New York estate planning lawyers believe estate planning is essential for every adult, whether you are 18 or 81 years old. Estate plans consist of several important legal documents that help you and your family through difficult times. These documents ensure that someone can step in and help you manage your finances and health care should you need it. They also ensure that your wishes for the distribution of your estate are followed when you pass away. A complete plan may consist of a trust, will, durable financial power of attorney, and advance health care directives.


Wills are the cornerstone of estate planning documents. Your will indicates who inherits your assets. It also names someone as your executor, also known as a personal representative, to manage your estate. A will is particularly important because, without one, your estate will be distributed according to state law. This is called intestate succession, and it may not be in alignment with your wishes.

A will also serves other important purposes. For example, in New Jersey and New York, if you pass away with minor children and there is no surviving parent, the only way to designate a guardian is by a will. If your will does not designate a guardian, a court decides who raises your children. Unfortunately, with this said, not enough people have wills. According to a 2023 survey conducted by caring.com, only about 34% of adults in the United States have a will. While the percentage of adults with a will increased with age, only 46% of adults older than 55 had one.


Trusts can be another component of a good estate plan. There are a variety of trusts, but they are all fundamentally similar. A trust is a legal agreement involving at least three parties: the creator of the trust (known as the grantor or trustor), the trustee, and one or more beneficiaries. The grantor transfers assets to the trust, which is managed by the trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Our estate planning attorneys are experienced in drafting trusts and will help you determine which trust is right for you.

A revocable living trust is a great tool to use in a state that has an expensive and/or difficult court administered probate process. This is because the assets in the trust are distributed upon your death outside of your “probate estate,” avoiding court administration. This usually results in a quicker and easier transfer of assets. Further, a trust is particularly helpful when you own property in two states because you would otherwise have to deal with probate in two separate jurisdictions. For this reason, many people choose to set up a trust. To learn more about what a trust is and how it can help you, read this article.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

A durable financial power of attorney designates someone to act on your behalf regarding your financial accounts and real property. Making it “durable” allows that trusted individual to act even if you become incapacitated. Although this power is usually only used if you are incapacitated, we make this document immediately effective upon signing. This makes it much easier to use when it is needed.

Our estate planning attorneys consider the durable financial power of attorney one of the most important estate planning documents. Without it, you could face significant financial consequences that could seriously affect your life. Additionally, if you do not have a financial power of attorney, you may have to go through a guardianship proceeding to designate someone to handle your affairs. That can easily cost $5,000 or more.

A durable financial power of attorney is essential in the event of a health crisis. It is also particularly important when allowing someone to act on your behalf if you are older and need help managing your affairs. Read this article to learn more about what makes a good financial power of attorney that helps in these situations and many more.

Advance Health Care Directives

Advance health care directives appoint an agent to make medical decisions if you cannot make them for yourself. The directives can also advise health care providers about what type of care you want if you are seriously ill and cannot communicate. Two common advance health care directives are a health care power of attorney and a living will.

There are several other types of health care directives, which are applicable to different health circumstances. Accordingly, it is best to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to understand more about these documents and which are necessary for you.

Be sure to check out this article to learn more about Advance Health Care Directives and why they are important for your estate plan.

New York & New Jersey Estate Planning Lawyers

As mentioned above, estate planning is essential for every adult. Having a plan will help you and your family through a health care emergency or another unforeseen life circumstance. We have a series of writings on estate plans, so please read on to learn more about them. Our estate planning lawyers serve clients in New Jersey and New York. If you would like help creating an estate plan, contact us here or call us at (201) 273-9763 to set up a free consultation.

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