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What You Need and Why You Need It Alan L. Augulis Estate Planning Attorney www.AugulisLawFirm.com


Studies are conducted periodically that attempt to get a grasp on the estate planning preparedness of people throughout the United States. They consistently find that a majority of adults have not made all the necessary preparations for the future. In this paper we would like to examine the estate planning tools that are widely utilized and briefly explain why they are necessary.

Studies show that a majority of adults have not made all the necessary preparations for the future. ●

Last Wills Estate planning involves arranging for the transfer of your financial assets to your heirs after you pass away. This is not the only thing to consider, but it is the facet that people generally think of first. A very common vehicle of asset transfer is the last will. Most people are well aware of the existence of this estate planning device. With a will you can direct future asset transfers. However, it can contain some additional elements. Someone must handle the tasks involved in the administration of the estate after you pass away. This individual is known as the executor of the estate. When you are drawing up your will you should include the choice of an executor. It is important to understand the fact that this individual will have some very tangible business oriented tasks to complete. These would include the payment of final taxes, getting appraisals on property, liquidating certain property, and otherwise preparing the assets that comprise the estate for distribution to the heirs.

Estate planning involves arranging for the transfer of your financial assets to your heirs after you pass away. This is not the only thing to consider, but it is the facet that people generally think of first. ●


Because of the above you should choose someone who has a good bit of business acumen. This individual should also have the available time that it will take to complete all of these tasks. If you are the parent of minor children you should nominate a potential guardian for your children when you are creating your last will.

Revocable Living Trust

You don't have to use a last will to direct the transfer of your assets. ●

You don't have to use a last will to direct the transfer of your assets. There are a number of other possible choices, and one of them is the revocable living trust. If you create one of these trusts you are known as the grantor. The grantor of the trust may also serve as the initial trustee and beneficiary. In this manner the grantor can retain control of the funds throughout his or her life. You name a successor trustee and a successor beneficiary or beneficiaries. After your passing the trustee distributes assets held by the trust to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. This trustee is guided by the trust terms that you create when you are establishing the trust. The successor trustee could also be empowered to manage the assets that have been conveyed into the trust in the event of your incapacitation.

More Advanced Estate Planning Devices There are numerous different estate planning devices that are a bit more advanced than wills and living trusts. People who are exposed to the estate tax must position their assets in a manner that provides tax efficiency. This can be accomplished in various ways, and the ideal approach will vary on a case-by-case basis.

People who are exposed to the estate tax must position their assets in a manner that provides tax efficiency. ●


Asset protection is another priority that some people have when they are engaged in the process of estate planning. There are steps that can be taken to protect assets from creditors and litigants. Providing for someone with special needs also requires a somewhat advanced approach.

Advance Directives for Health Care Thinking about the things that will take place after you pass away is certainly part of the equation. However, the period of time immediately preceding your death is something to prepare for as well. One of the legal instruments that you should have in place is a health care proxy. With this document you name someone to make medical decisions in your behalf if you become unable to make them for yourself. Another advance directive that is recommended is a living will. With this directive you state your preferences regarding life-sustaining medical procedures.

Financial Decision Making As mentioned in a previous section, if you have a revocable living trust your successor trustee can be empowered to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation. If you do not have a trust you can appoint a financial decision maker through the execution of a durable power of attorney. Because the power of attorney is durable it stays in effect after your incapacitation. A power of attorney without this designation would no longer be in effect upon the incapacitation of the grantor.


Another option would be a springing durable power of attorney. These powers will only take effect in the event of the incapacitation of the grantor.

15 Common Reasons To Do Estate Planning

The potential problem with these is that it can sometimes be difficult to prove that the grantor is in fact incapacitated.

Conclusion Estate planning is a basic responsibility that every selfsupporting adults should take seriously. Making the appropriate preparations for the inevitable may seem like something that is only relevant to senior citizens. However, people die every day in accidents. Other younger adults succumb to catastrophic illnesses. If you are the parent of a minor child an estate plan is an absolute must. Many people recognize the fact that they should have a plan in place but they don't know what they should do first. The logical solution would be to consult with a licensed estate planning attorney. Your attorney will ask you all the right questions, listen as you explain your objectives, and make the appropriate recommendations.

Do You Have Any Special Circumstances? Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2012/10/14/theforbes-guide-to-estate-planning/

State of New Jersey http://www.state.nj.us/health/advancedirective/

What is Estate Planning? And What Can an Estate Plan Do for You and Your Family? Free, No-Obligation Estate Planning Report. Download Now! A good estate attorney will get to know your financial situation and your Estate Planning goals, and put together a plan just for you. What’s more, an estate attorney can help make sure your Estate Plan will work when it’s needed and when you have a lasting relationship with an estate attorney, it’s easier to keep your Estate Plan up-todate. Find out more about Estate Planning and learn how to choose an estate attorney – click the image to download your free report today! Augulis Law Firm 5 Mountain Blvd., Suite 5 Warren, NJ 07059 (908) 222-8803 www.augulislawfirm.com

Estate Planning: What You Need to Know and Why You Need Them  

Studies are conducted periodically that attempt to get a grasp on the estate planning preparedness of people throughout the United States. T...

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