Estate Planning and Administration

Estate Planning

It’s important to have an estate plan. An estate plan puts you in control of what happens to your finances, property and belongings when you pass away or are no longer able to care for yourself. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives (also called “living wills”) are all vital estate planning documents.

Will: Having a will in place will give your surviving loved ones clear direction as to how you want your wealth and assets divided after death.

Trusts: Trusts are legal arrangements where assets are transferred to a “Trustee” to manage and distribute for the benefit of beneficiaries in accordance with the instructions in the Trust document. Trusts are used for a variety of purposes, including transferring assets outside of the probate process and to achieve tax, financial, and personal objectives.

Power of attorney: A power of attorney gives a trusted person decision-making authority over financial or medical issues, in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Advance health care directive: Also known as a living will. This order allows you to specify what types of medical treatment you do or do not want to receive in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to express your wishes.

Tailoring An Estate Plan To Fit Your Needs

Everyone’s circumstances and means are different, but no less important. The type of estate plan you craft is indicative of your circumstances and life experiences. Estate planning can give you peace of mind that your assets and wishes will be protected and your loved ones provided for after you pass away. Whether you are concerned about providing for children, family members with special needs, business operations after you pass, property in multiple locations or other special concerns, your estate plan and documents need to reflect your concerns and situation in order to serve their purpose.

If you do not have an estate plan — or have not reviewed and updated your existing plan in the past several years — do not put what you have worked hard to attain at risk. At Zehner & Daly, we seek your input, listen to your concerns and advise you on your options, taking care to draft documents and develop an estate plan that meets your personal circumstances. To arrange your initial consultation, call us at (856) 769-2100 or contact us online.

Estate Administration

Representation in Estate Matters

When a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration. This process is the proceeding through which a will, if there is one, is proved to be valid and the property of the deceased is administered. Even estates in which there is no Last Will and Testament may require administration through the court. This process includes the collection of assets, the payment of funeral expenses and other bills, the resolution of any remaining tax matters, and the final distribution of property to one’s heirs. The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate.

While the administration process may sound like a simple matter, it can often be cumbersome and complex or subject to dispute among family members. The law firm of Zehner & Daly can assist in making the estate administration process more efficient and less burdensome and assure that the decedent’s estate planning wishes are fulfilled.

Skillfully Handling Estate Administration

We work closely with the client charged with the duties of administering the estate and beneficiaries to make certain that all estate matters are handled timely and efficiently, including:

  • Arranging to have the Will to probate with the county Surrogate’s Court and executor appointed

  • Ensure notice is provided to beneficiaries and next-of-kin

  • Assure that all claims against the estate are paid

  • Assist in the sale of assets, if necessary

  • File New Jersey Inheritance Tax returns, if required

  • File all necessary estate administration documents

  • Obtain waivers for disposition of property, if necessary

  • Arrange for distribution of estate assets to beneficiaries

The attorneys at Zehner & Daly know how to handle a variety of probate and estate administration services for clients throughout New Jersey. Our knowledgeable staff can guide you through the legal processes associated with the death of a loved one with compassion and caring. We offer initial consultation during which we explain the probate administration process and answer all of your questions concerning the estate in a straight forward manner.