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Estate Plans for Widows or Widowers

Mom's estate planSome people may postpone creating an estate plan for as long as possible to avoid dealing with fears relating to their own death. They also may feel overwhelmed by the process.

We can help with that…

If Dad were to passed away, Mom may be feeling her own mortality. Certainly, if she has no estate plan, she will likely recognized the need to create one. That can be difficult reality check.  Talk of drafting an estate plan may bring back painful emotions linked to the father's death. These feelings are natural.

Instead of the children pressuring Mom, they should point out some of the benefits an estate plan will can provide, such as how a trust will allow her to specify how her assets will be transferred at her death. This can include making bequests of family heirlooms to specific people or include charitable contributions. If there's no estate plan, Mom loses control of who, when and to whom her assets will go. Her assets will pass according to the intestate laws of the state.

Probating an estate without an estate plan can mean more time and money than an estate with a plan.  The better estate plan in almost every case is a trust-based estate plan.  Obviously, not having a plan leaves the heirs to contend with any unresolved family issues on top of their grieving the death of their mother.

Mom's proper planning will her to to minimize whatever estate taxes and inheritance taxes there might be. Especially significant in today's tax environment is an ability to avoid the income taxes your heirs would otherwise need to pay on their inheritance; something proper planning could certainly address. Obviously, this planning will allow more wealth to pass to Mom's heirs.

Parents can be quite uncomfortable talking about these issues with their children, so you might solicit the help of a close friend or other family members like an aunt or uncle to help bring up the subject. Many families find that an estate planning attorney can help facilitate the process. Be prepared for this to take some time. It may take several discussions to get things rolling.

As mentioned, we can be of enormous help in making this process less frightening and more empowering for all involved.  Call today to schedule your complimentary consultation or register online for one of our workshops on this topic.  We look forward to meeting you soon. 

Reference: New Jersey 101.5 (April 7, 2016) "How to handle a parent not having a will"

 

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.