Do you need an estate plan?

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Do You Need An Estate Plan

Many Haddonfield area residents don’t think about estate planning until they’ve reached the age of retirement. This can be a mistake, though, as nearly everyone should have some sort of estate plan in place. What are the life stages where a person should consider an estate plan?

First baby and subsequent children

When a couple has their first child it can be a good time to create an estate plan. The estate plan should include their assets, but more importantly should appoint a guardian in case something happens to the parents. When more children arrive an estate plan may need to be more robust and inclusive of all assets and children.

New arrivals

If a family moves into New Jersey they may need to update their estate plan to make them compliant with New Jersey law or create a new one.


A divorce is a good time for a person to update or create an estate plan. It is important to have ex-spouses removed from estate planning documents, health care directives, and as beneficiaries to financial accounts.

Owning a business

Business succession planning is important for those who own their own business. A plan that makes it easy to transfer the business to family members upon an owner’s death is important.

Children with special needs

If a family has a child with special needs, an estate plan is critical. Setting up a special needs trust can be important in order to make sure the child qualifies for public assistance when they get older.

Almost everyone who has children or has assets should have a estate plan in place. An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help create an estate plan for their client’s unique circumstances.


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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