Wills, Trusts, Guardianship & Estate Planning


A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that is drafted with the intention of dispersing a person’s assets upon his or her death.  You have the ability to control who receives your belonging when you pass on.   Without a signed Last Will and Testament, you have no say in who receives your property and belongings.  

With a Will, you not only choose who your assets will be given to but you also chose the person who is in charge of making sure that your wishes are carried out.  This person is called an Executor and he or she is responsible for ensuring that the Testator’s wishes are met which includes  distributing assets to the beneficiaries and paying the debts that were owed by you.  

If you or a loved one do not have a Will, the distribution of your assets will be guided by New Jersey Law.  This means that the beneficiaries are designated by statute and those who receive your assets may not be be the people who are most important to you.  It is best to have a written document by a qualified professional to protect your wishes, property, and  disbursements upon death.  See more on Estate Planning below.

Powers Of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that provides notice to others that one person has the legal authority to act on behalf of another in some capacity.  While some power of attorney documents provide for broad authority  (pay bills, buy and sell real estate, conduct banking etc), others may be limited to a specific event or need (signing real estate transaction documents etc).

Commonly drafted powers of attorney, include financial powers of attorney, durable powers of attorney, and powers of attorney for healthcare (also sometimes called advanced health care directives or living wills). The person for whom the POA is drafted may elect to have the document take affect upon signature or, instead, upon disability. 

Probate/ADMINistration of an estate

Once a person dies, his next of kin will apply to the Surrogate’s Office to have the will probated and to have an Executor officially appointed. Once probate occurs, the Executor is named and he or she will begin to collect assets, pay debts, and distribute any assets to the intended beneficiaries. There are certain rules that must be abided by when probating an estate.  

An Executor assumes the many responsibilities of probating the estate in accordance with New Jersey Law. For example, a few of the responsibilities of the the Executor include  mailing required notices, filing documents with the Surrogate’s Office, closing and opening bank accounts, paying taxes, selling assets, and filing refunding bonds. 

 Attorneys who understand the Probate process can be of great assistance in administering the estate and  alleviating much of the stressors an Executor may feel when performing those duties without such help or guidance. 

Call now if you have questions or need assistance in the Administration of an Estate.


Estate Planning

A decedent who dies without a will or an estate plan takes the risk that their property will not be distributed in a way in which he or she chooses. Rather, it is left up to the Court/State to decide how the property should be divided. This process can be lengthy. However, if a Will is in place, in most cases, the assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the Will without great delay or Court interference.

An Estate Plan is a legally written document that explains how you want your assets divided upon your death. The Court does not recognize oral statements or promises to give property upon death.

I will draft and devise your Last Will and Testament in accordance with your wishes and help you prepare an estate plan that sets out your directives for distribution of your assets to your family and friends.


In some instances, a person’s well-being is in jeopardy due to physical or mental conditions that make him or her unable to care for oneself.  When the person is considered to be incapacitated, a Petitioner, usually a loved one, files a Petition for Guardianship  in the Surrogate’s Court in the county in which the person lives.  If successful, a guardian will be appointment who will oversee decisions concerning the incapacitated person. An attorney will gather the necessary information, file the petition, and argue to the court that the request for guardianship should be granted.

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