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Ocean County Estate Planning Blog

Basic estate planning documents

Younger people often think that things like creating a will or setting up a trust are solely for the wealthy or elderly. It is true that estate planning becomes more critical later in life, and that wealthy individuals often make use of estate planning resources, but the reality is that there are elements of estate planning that everyone should familiarize themselves with.

There are a few basic documents everyone should have created. They are often inexpensive, are relatively simple to understand and will snuff out potential questions should you suddenly pass away or become incapacitated.

Reviewing some of the benefits of a power of attorney

There are many different reasons why people need to have someone else care for their affairs. For example, someone may become incapacitated unexpectedly and no longer have the ability to take care of their finances or a small business they run. By designating a power of attorney, people are able to hand over this authority to an agent who is capable of managing their affairs. There are many different advantages when it comes to naming a power of attorney and in this post, we will review some of them.

A power of attorney designation is generally set up to allow one person to handle another's financial affairs, making key transactions and decisions for someone who has become incapacitated. For example, this power may involve a person's investments, real estate, retirement accounts or insurance coverage, among other financial matters. Moreover, these powers can be especially helpful for business owners who become incapacitated and can no longer manage their business affairs. Furthermore, a power of attorney could allow an agent to file a lawsuit for someone who is not capable of taking legal action on their own due to their incapacitation.

Reversing a guardianship appointment

Establishing guardianship can be an excellent way for people to receive the care they need when they are unable to take care of themselves due to an age-related issue, a disability or some other challenge. However, there are also times when it makes sense to reverse a guardianship appointment. For example, a guardian may no longer be able to provide the ward with the care that they are counting on, or a guardian may neglect to take care of his or her responsibilities. In Ocean County, and all across the state of New Jersey, it is pivotal for people who believe that reversing a guardianship is necessary to approach the process properly.

It may be possible for guardianship to be reversed by the guardian, a third party or even the ward. When this action becomes necessary, for any reason, it is important for people to move forward swiftly in order to ensure that the ward receives the care they need. If you are responsible for taking care of someone, it is important to keep their best interests in mind. Likewise, if you suspect that a guardian is failing to live up to his or her duties and care for one of your close family members, you should not hesitate to do what is best for your loved one.

What is an advance directive?

If you’re left incapacitated by illness or injury, important questions about your future will be left to your family. Even if you believe that your family is fully apprised of your wishes that might not be the case. In fact, severe disputes could break out among your relatives if they disagree on the best course of action. Having an advance directive is key in this case, and WebMD explains some of the more common options at your disposal.

How to choose a medical power of attorney

Revising your estate plan after a work accident

People go over their estate plan for many reasons, such as splitting up with their marital partner or the birth of a child. There are many other circumstances in which you may need to rethink your estate plan, however. If you are hurt while working, for example, you may need to make changes to your estate plan for various reasons. Workplace accidents can be incredibly difficult and you may be dealing with a lot of physical pain, financial problems, uncertainty about your future and other challenges. However, you should not overlook necessary revisions to your estate plan.

A work accident may leave someone temporarily disabled, while other workers sustain injuries that are so serious they leave them handicapped for the rest of their lives. These injuries can have a negative impact on one's life in many ways, such as resulting in the need to miss work temporarily or find a new career path altogether (if they are even able to return to the workplace). On the other hand, some peoples' finances may change considerably as a result of a lawsuit that was filed due to their workplace accident. Someone who has newfound wealth may also wish to make significant changes to their estate planning documents.

Power of attorney and taxes

People designate a power of attorney for many different reasons. For example, a person who is unable to handle his or her affairs for whatever reason may decide that a power of attorney is the best way for their affairs to be managed properly, whether they are related to health care of a small business. Some people may even want to grant power of attorney to a person they trust for tax purposes, but it is important to make sure that you understand the ins and outs of this approach before moving forward.

First of all, a power of attorney does not necessarily grant someone the ability to sign another person's tax return, unless this is specifically authorized and also allowed under IRS code. Furthermore, there are other matters to be aware of. For example, if you file a joint tax return, you may have to take a different approach than someone with another type of tax filing status. If you have power of attorney responsibilities, you may be unsure of which steps need to be taken in order for you to file a tax return for someone else, and it is pivotal to familiarize yourself with IRS requirements.

Looking into adult guardianship

Sometimes, when people think about guardianship they may focus on children. However, there are many circumstances in which guardianship becomes necessary for adults of all ages as well. For example, someone struggling with a condition that has come with older age may need a guardian, but a younger adult may also be in need of a guardian due to a completely unexpected accident. Either way, it is important for you to make sure that the most practical decision is made during such a critical part of your loved one's life. For many adults in New Jersey, guardianships are a lifeline.

Sometimes, people decide to find a guardian who can take care of their loved one. In other circumstances, someone may wish to become their loved one's guardian, but they may have a number of questions related to the process and their responsibilities. It is vital to look into these issues from the perspective of adult guardianship and fully acknowledge the various duties that come with guardianship. Since the needs of an older adult may vary in comparison to a younger adult's needs, it is crucial to look into all unique details surrounding your loved one's circumstances.

Is it time to review your will?

If you have already drafted your will, then you know through the experience of preparing it why it was so important to get it done. But how long has it been since you drafted it? Do you remember your exact wishes that you included?

Drawing up a will is not just a onetime occurrence. Life continues to change and it can quickly turn unpredictable. Does your will reflect these changes? If not, you need to revisit your will and make sure it is up to date with your current wishes.

High-asset divorce and your will

When it comes to estate plans, each person is in a unique position and this is also true for those going through a divorce. Some people, such as those who have a high net worth, may face an especially difficult time when dealing with these legal matters. Whether you are approaching a high-asset divorce for the first time or you have already split up with your spouse, it is crucial to make sure that you are prepared and able to make the best financial decisions. Our law firm understands how challenging this can be for those living in Ocean County and across New Jersey, but reviewing your options could prove tremendously helpful.

Those who have significant assets may have much more at stake when working through a divorce and making revisions to a will, so you should be careful moving forward and make sure that your best decisions have been clearly identified. Your will may need to be revised to make changes to the way in which assets are distributed, whether you want to add or remove beneficiaries. Moreover, you may have to find a new executor or make other modifications.

Addressing power of attorney misconduct

It is very important to identify the right candidate when it comes to establishing a power of attorney, as we recently covered on our blog. Unfortunately, some people abuse the power they have and it is extremely important for power of attorney misconduct to be addressed right away. In Ocean County and other parts of New Jersey, this misconduct may take various forms and it can create many challenges for those whose rights are not respected. Whether you have set up a power of attorney for yourself or one of your loved ones or friends has a power of attorney, you should take action if you suspect abuse.

For starters, it is essential for those who trust an agent with power of attorney to ensure that records are carefully kept in order to identify any wrongdoing. If someone intentionally violates the rights of another through power of attorney, they should be held responsible for their actions. Sadly, even people who used to be close friends and family members have abused the authority they have in this regard. Sometimes, people do not notice any wrongdoing, while others may have a hard time accepting that their rights were not respected or speaking up even though wrongdoing has become evident.

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Phone: 732-994-6092
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