Blog: Estate Planning

  • Estate Planning Essentials: Why Wills and Trusts Matter in New Jersey
    Estate planning The Importance of Having a Will A will is a legal document that specifies how you want your assets distributed after your death. In New Jersey, if you die without a will (intestate), your assets are distributed according to state laws, which may not align with your personal wishes. Here’s why having a will is important: Control Over Asset Distribution Guardianship Decisions Minimizing Family Disputes The Role of Trusts in Estate Planning Trusts...
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  • How does a divorce affect my New Jersey estate plan?
    When couples are heading for divorce, they rarely think of their estate plan. Often, divorce is more about getting through it. But, for those going through the process, you should know that it can have a significant impact on your estate plan both legally and what you actually want the estate plan to contain after the divorce is finalized. New Jersey Statutes 3B:3-14 According to New Jersey Statutes 3B:3-14, a divorce or annulment automatically revokes...
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  • Common estate planning mistakes
    An estate plan helps assure that your wishes are carried out after your death or if you ever become incapacitated. For anyone who is at least 50, estate planning is essential. But common mistakes can undermine your planning. An estate plan helps assure that your wishes are carried out after your death or if you ever become incapacitated. For anyone who is at least 50, estate planning is essential. But common mistakes can undermine your...
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  • How do I pass down my New Jersey business to family?
    If you own a business in the Garden State and you want to pass it on to your family members as part of your estate plan, you need to consider some key steps and concepts. New Jersey business succession planning is the process of preparing for the transfer of ownership and management of your business when you retire, die or become incapacitated. Identify your goals and objectives What do you want to achieve with your...
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  • When should you make changes to your estate plan?
    Although you’ve put in a lot of thought and work to create your initial estate plan, it’s important to realize that these documents should change as major life events occur. Otherwise, your estate assets might end up passing down to someone you never intended to inherit in the first place. Neglecting to update your estate plan can also create confusion, which could lead to litigation over your estate. As a result, your loved ones might...
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  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts
    Planning your estate can involve much more than writing your will. Depending on your goals, you may consider creating a trust. Trusts can be tailored for many purposes, but they are especially useful for protecting assets. Like your will, a trust can provide for your loved ones or favorite charities after your death, but it can also protect your assets while you are alive. Living trusts The two main categories of trusts are testamentary trusts...
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  • What does a financial power of attorney do?
    Whether it be due to a medical condition or simply a result of getting older, there may come a day when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. In case that day comes, experts recommend choosing a trustworthy and responsible person to make financial decisions on your behalf. You can assign them responsibilities during the estate planning process by signing a financial power of attorney (POA). Choosing an agent for your financial...
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  • Adding a guardian to your estate plan
    When many people think about estate planning, they focus on money and assets. They think it is all about who gets what after they pass. However, a full estate plan includes much more, like powers of attorney, trusts, medical proxies, guardians, etc. And, for parents, your guardian designation can be one of your most important decisions. Who cares for your children? If you pass, who will care for your children? If you and your spouse...
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  • How do I start estate planning in New Jersey?
    No matter what your age and no matter where you are in your life, having an estate plan is important and necessary. The fact is that everyone has assets and a legacy that they wish to pass down to someone who is near and dear to their heart. No matter how large your estate is, it should be your decision where you want your assets to go so that your legacy is preserved and so...
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  • Estate planning with children: More considerations
    For readers of this legal blog, you know that we commonly post on estate planning topics. And, in a recent legal blog post, we discussed the topic of estate planning with children. In that post, we discussed guardians for your minor children and the considerations you need to make for minor, adult and disabled children. In this blog post, we will discuss some additional considerations for estate planning with children. Life insurance Life insurance can...
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Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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