Certified New Jersey Elder Law Attorneys

McHugh & Macri
Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents since 1978.
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Estate planning not only for wealthiest New Jersey residents

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

Any New Jersey resident contemplating their final will, power of attorney or disposal of assets may benefit from legal advice. Those with less than millions in assets sometimes overlook the benefits of a tailored estate plan. After all, the federal estate tax includes an exemption for the first $5.25 million. However, estate planning tools may still be useful for those who plan to claim only part of this exemption.

One of those tools useful for nearly everyone is power of attorney. There are several types, including durable power of attorney and springing power of attorney, which is only activated in specific circumstances. Choosing the best one for an individual's situation is not an easy task. It may rely on the pool of potential candidates for the position and an understanding of any assets left in the will.

Asset preservation planning is also an important step for reasons besides the estate tax. Medical costs can take up a sizable chunk of assets, which the individual may have planned to leave for beneficiaries. The diligent selection of insurance plans may reduce medical costs significantly. The right choice of power of attorney may add a layer of personal security to elder planning efforts. Certain types of trusts may also be used to increase eligibility for subsidized insurance.

The establishment of an estate plan requires someone with more than a passing knowledge of legal options. Some types of trusts and wills are only available in specific states; and it may be difficult for a non-expert to become familiar with the relative merits of state-specific estate planning tools and other options. An attorney with experience in elder law may be able to offer expert advice for the preservation of both assets and personal security.

Source: Life Health Pro, "5 ways to help middle-class clients with estate planning", Tom Nawrocki, May 23, 2013

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