Category Archives: Uncategorized

Help Your Parents and Grandparents Update Their Estate Planning Documents

Help Parents with Estate Planning

May and June are months filled with family get-togethers of all kinds: weddings, graduations, picnics, barbecues, and family reunions. These get-togethers often remind us about how important our family members are to us. While a family party is probably not the best place to talk with your parents and grandparents about their estate plans, follow up with those older loved ones at a later time about getting their affairs in order.

Talking about these can be uncomfortable, but express to family members that it is vital that they take time now to help minimize difficulties later. It also does not need to be a large, detail-filled conversation either – just inquire whether they have made a will or whether they have thought about making a will or other estate plans. Print out this article and let them read it.

Here are a few simple things to help anyone decide whether they need to complete or update their estate plans:

  • It doesn’t take long to review life insurance policies to make sure that contact information is correct for the policy holder while also ensuring that beneficiaries are up to date.
  • If your loved ones already have wills, be sure that they review them. They will need to be updated if a spouse, child or sibling has died. They may also need to be updated if the Older Americans have downsized to new residences, closed or sold businesses, or bought or sold vacation homes, boats, or recreational vehicles.
  • Remember that property includes not only real property (land, house, condominium, business storefront, etc.), but also personal property such as jewelry, art, sports memorabilia, even pets.
  • It is also a good time to address living wills, which are a legal document by which a person makes known his or her wishes regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical procedures, such as resuscitation. This is especially important if a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or a life-threatening disease that can impair their cognitive abilities in the future.
  • Establishing power of attorney, a legal document by which Person A gives Person B the power to make decisions about their legal and/or financial affairs upon Person A’s incapacitation, is also very important. If one of your parents or grandparents has power of attorney for the other and he or she has died or been diagnosed with a disease like Alzheimer’s, then the document needs to be updated.

These are some simple things that you can do each spring to make sure that your family is protected. Everyone, no matter their net worth, should have estate planning in place. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones.

If your parents, grandparents or you need help reviewing or establishing any of the documents above, please telephone me at (732) 444-6406 or write me an email and tell me you’d like to meet about doing estate planning. I will send you my free Estate Planning Workbook, which is a tool to help you think about all of the different concerns there are with estate planning.

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The Law Office of Nancy L. Holm, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, is a full-service, general practice law firm located in Monmouth County, N.J., and serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. You can trust our integrity and commitment to your best interests when you have a legal problem. We offer a free consultation and reasonable rates, so that legal representation is available to everyone.

 

 

 

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Filed under Estate Administration and Litigation, Estate Planning, General Practice Law Firm, Law Office of Nancy L Holm, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Special Needs Children / Adults, Trusts, Uncategorized, Wills

Updating Your Will

Update your will if you got married

Update your will if you got married

Life happens. Even if you have completed estate planning, it’s never really ‘done.’ Life is going to come along and make you re-do it.

So, I present, You Might Need to Update Your Will. (Read this in your head with a Jeff Foxworthy-type voice):

IF you had a baby,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF you got married,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF you got divorced,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF you adopted a child,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF you have a new grandbaby,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF a relationship within your family has changed,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF tax laws have changed,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF your estate value has dramatically increased (or decreased),
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF you moved to a new state,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF you retired,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

IF you changed your investments,
YOU MIGHT NEED TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

These are just a few reasons that you might need to review your will with an attorney. I am just a phone call away, and maintain flexible office hours so that we can meet at your convenience. For most people, reviewing and revising wills is one flat fee. Call me (732) 444-6406 or email to schedule a meeting time.

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The Law Office of Nancy L. Holm, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, is a full-service, general practice law firm located in Monmouth County, N.J., and serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. You can trust our integrity and commitment to your best interests when you have a legal problem. We offer a free consultation and reasonable rates, so that legal representation is available to everyone.

 

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Filed under Estate Administration and Litigation, Estate Planning, Guardianship Cases, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Uncategorized, Wills

Guardianship Checklist for Special Needs Children

If you are the parent of a special needs child, no matter what age, start thinking about guardianship.  Here is a “To Do” List to help get you started:

  • At age 17, contact an attorney to determine the fee schedule – if necessary, begin saving for the attorney’s fee or set the money aside as soon as possible.
  • Remember – if you are applying for the guardianship, you will also have to pay the court-appointed attorney’s fees.  Fees range from $1,200 and up, depending upon the complexity of the action and the individual’s fees.  Most judges will require that you pay the attorney within ten (10) days of the final judgment appointing you as guardian.
  • Begin discussing guardianship with family members.
  • If you are contemplating divorce from the parent of your special needs child, ensure that guardianship issues are discussed and settled in your divorce decree.
  • If you are already divorced and you have not settled this issue with your ex-spouse, begin that conversation – either yourself or through your family law attorney.  Contact a family law mediator to work through these issues.
  • Begin contemplating a Special Needs Trust – there are many financial issues that can impact the receipt of Medicaid and other government benefits.
  • Discuss estate planning with your spouse and grandparents regarding the special needs child as beneficiary – consult an attorney to determine the best way to do so in order to preserve the child’s entitlement to government benefits.

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