New Jersey Estate Planning Lawyers
As a law firm serving New Jersey residents for more than 130 years, Backes & Hill, LLP appreciates the importance of planning for the next generation. We are committed to helping clients preserve their assets and transfer them efficiently to their loved ones. Families rely on us to meet their individual needs in crafting a solid estate plan while educating them on the full range of legal options available to them. Our attorneys provide the comprehensive and caring legal support our clients deserve, from drafting and reviewing documents to enforcing a will through the probate process.
We can help you with estate planning documents, which should, at a minimum, include the following:
- Will or a Revocable Living Trust
- Durable Power of Attorney (appoint someone to handle your finances)
- Health Care Power of Attorney (appoint someone as your health care representative)
- Advance Directives for Health Care (your “Living Will”)
- Funeral/cremation instructions
We can also help you with the following:
Advice on changing your will to suit your current circumstances
Most people understand the importance of having a will and take the time at some point in their lives to prepare and execute one. However, the most effective estate planning requires attention after the document is completed. Backes & Hill attorneys work with our clients to keep wills current through such events as:
- Life changes — Almost any significant life change necessitates a review of will provisions. A move to another state, change in marital status, or addition of children should prompt immediate revisions. Even without such major events, relationships and financial needs vary with time, and a frequent check-in is important to ensure that your wishes are adequately reflected in your will.
- Adjustment in the estate — One can amass a great deal of property over the course of a decade or three. This might trigger additional tax liability or prompt new ideas on how to distribute everything, such as a charitable bequest. We can help you consider the revised landscape and execute a codicil or new will to reflect your circumstances.
- Legal updates — Federal and state probate laws change over time; our knowledgeable attorneys keep clients informed of how these modifications affect their unique estate plan.
Whether or not we assisted with your original will, our attorneys will take the time to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, ensuring that it and other estate planning instruments are up to date.
Knowledgeable counsel on a complete range of estate planning options
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy — it’s essential for everyone who owns property or has children. Even small estates can lead to bitter disputes if not handled correctly, exacerbating family tensions and sometimes consuming a large portion of the estate’s value. Backes & Hill attorneys first work to develop a complete understanding of your situation and priorities. From there, we explain your options for transferring property, whether through wills, trusts, gifts or a combination of these tools. We also address important concerns such as the guardianship of minor children. With this complete perspective gained through a comprehensive evaluation, we will help you execute what works best for you and your family.
Drafting living wills to direct healthcare decisions
Healthcare directives, sometimes known as living wills, are often overlooked in estate planning. People go to great lengths to preserve their assets for the benefit of their family, but by failing to leave clear directions regarding their medical treatment, they can jeopardize both their assets and their family’s well-being. Should you become incapacitated by injury or illness, a proxy directive allows you to state what type of treatment you want and don’t want and choose a representative to enforce your wishes. Our attorneys will help you complete a healthcare directive so that your wishes are clearly understood, saving your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf.
Contact experienced probate and estate planning attorneys
Backes & Hill, LLP serves clients throughout Mercer County and the surrounding area. From its office in Lawrenceville, the firm represents clients in a variety of practice areas, including personal injury, employment law, and estate planning. Call 609-396-8257 or contact us online to schedule a meeting.