Well-drawn documents and careful estate planning are crucial to protect and provide for your loved ones.  No one wants to leave their estate in disarray with their wishes unclear, relatives in conflict, spouses in need of money and children placed with guardians with whom they are not comfortable.  But that is precisely what can happen where there is poor or no estate planning. Why would you risk this happening when we can make the estate planning process easy, economical and even pleasant.  

Anyone who has any assets, debts or children, should have a properly drafted will or trust, power of attorney and health care proxy.  Some are under the misconception that only the extremely wealthy need and can afford estate planning.  This is completely untrue. We at Rogers, Habas, Verrilli & Eisen, PC provide estate planning for all different types of clients in all different types of situations.   We have extensive experience in drafting wills and trusts for our clients.  We can guide you through the important decisions that need to be made and draft your documents so they accurately reflect your particular wishes and concerns. We take a holistic approach to estate planning to make certain that the beneficiaries named on your life insurance policies and retirement plans as well as how your properties are titled are consistent with your wishes and estate documents.  We can also assist in determining the best means to transfer a family owned business.  Additionally we consider tax implications and family dynamics to make certain your estate plan reaches your goals whether your goals are to minimize estate tax, avoid probate or protect your family’s assets while receiving government benefits such as Social Security Income or Medicaid.   We also work in conjunction with your accountant and financial advisor to make certain all planning we do is consistent with your financial goals.  We offer solutions for providing for family members with special needs.

In addition to your will or trust, we can also draft your health care proxy and power of attorney so that if you should become incapacitated, your decisions regarding your own health will be carried out and your finances will be taken care of.  These are particular legal documents which must contain specific legal language.  They can be critical in situations where you or a loved one suddenly become ill. Drafting such documents insures your wishes are followed and avoids your family having to take the time and expense to go to court to determine what steps should be taken on your behalf.  Having a complete and accurate Power of Attorney can be crucial for individuals who may be in their declining years.  A standard power of attorney will often not suffice in such a situation and can lead to the loss of a great deal of property to the ailing person’s family.

As life changes so should your estate planning documents. Whether we drafted your initial will or not, we often sit down with clients periodically to review their estate documents to be certain they still accomplish our client’s goals and conform with the current law.  Additionally, if the law changes, as it has often in the past few years, we reach out to our clients whom may be impacted by such changes to be certain their estate plan is still viable.  As a general guideline, we advise our clients to take out their wills and/or trusts and review them about every five years or after a large life event such as a remarriage, a divorce, the birth of children, the purchasing of a house, the receipt of inheritance, or the diagnosis of a serious health issue, just to name a few.  We also draft all our clients’ documents to contain flexibility to adjust to potential changes in the law and avoid unnecessary redrafting in the future.

Not only do we have vast experience in drafting wills, revocable trusts, special needs trusts, life insurance trusts and Medicaid trusts, but we also regularly help our clients in probating an estate or administrating a trust once a loved one has passed.  This can entail drafting and filing many documents with Surrogate’s Court and coordinating with family members, accountants, financial planners and financial institutions to distribute and often sell the assets and close the estate.  Our experience with probate not only permits us to help our clients during a difficult time, but allows us to learn of problematic procedures in probate and trust administration which can be avoided with proper planning.

Planning for the future so that your wishes are carried out, your assets are protected and your loved ones are taken care of, can be a daunting task.  Having experienced and caring attorneys who can assist you, is crucial.