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Category Archives: Estate Law


Estate Planning for Your Children

Estate Planning for Your Children’s Financial Security

If you have children, especially minors and/or children with a disability, you should consider how your current estate plan would effect your children in the event that you pass away or become incapacitated and unable to manage your affairs. While planning for your children is part of a proper estate plan, you should also consider whether your estate planning documents, including, a Last Will and Testament, General Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will, are up to date and accurately reflect your current circumstances and objectives. In a Last Will and Testament, for instance, you may nominate a Legal Guardian for your minor children or appoint a custodian for assets passing to minor children. Each decision is a step toward a fully articulated estate plan, which takes time and thought.

The following are a few ideas and estate planning tools to consider when planning for your children’s financial security. This list is not fully inclusive of all options available, but instead, are some of the many options available to parents planning for their children. Should you have any questions regarding your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Puff & Cockerill LLC.

Trust Agreement

A trust is a common way for managing and protecting your children’s assets. A trust can be tailored and structured in many ways to accommodate your specific intentions. Once you discuss with an estate planning attorney your circumstances, finances and goals for the trust, you will also have to select a trustee. A trustee should be an individual who you have confidence in to manage and make advisable decision regarding the trust assets. Assets held in a trust may be limited to specific purposes, such as education, health, maintenance, or they can be more freely distributed at the discretion of the trustee. Again, trusts are flexible to accommodate your circumstances and goals. Given the numerous options available, it is highly advisable that you speak with an estate planning attorney to understand the nuances that a trust can provide in planning for your children’s future.

Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA)

New Jersey has Uniform Transfers to Minors laws which establish restrictions on how assets may be distributed to minors. Depending on your circumstances, the UTMA may be an appropriate way to make gifts to a minor and allow the custodian of the account to collect, manage, and invest the property on behalf of the minor or use the property for the minor’s benefit. As the laws regarding the UTMA are stringent, it is important to discuss with an estate planning attorney.

Children with Special Needs

If you have a child with a disability, proper planning for your children and their future is particularly important. Without a proper estate plan in place, you may jeopardize your child’s eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD). A special needs trust is designed to hold assets for an individual with a physical or mental disability while preserving personal eligibility for benefits. Special needs trusts are subject to stringent legal requirements in order to maintain eligibility, therefore, it is highly advisable that you speak with an experienced attorney.

Please contact our office at 856-845-0011 or at info@pufflaw.com to discuss your estate plan with one of our estate planning attorneys. We will continue to be available for our clients and new clients. We hope all of you remain safe and healthy.

Jeff Puff Discusses Estate Planning on Justice For All TV Show

Jeff Puff Discusses Estate Planning on Justice For All TV Show

Jeff Puff recently shared his views on the estate planning process on the Justice For All television show. Jeff discusses wills, estate planning, estate litigation tax concerns and much more.

Watch the Video Below to Learn About

  • Creating a Will
  • Contesting a Will
  • Setting Up a Trust
  • Probate Assets vs Non-Probate Assets
  • Power of Attorney
  • The Danger of Annuities
  • Living Wills

 

Importance of Estate Planning During Covid-19

Importance of Estate Planning During Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is a reminder of the importance of estate planning. Our mortality reminds us how important it is for you and your family to have an estate plan prepared and current to meet your specific goals and objectives. Collectively, we are all worried about our families, friends, neighbors and legacy. You may wonder, what will happen if I become sick? Who will make my decisions if I am incapacitated? Or even, what will happen if I die? As you begin to answer these questions, you may find solace by knowing that you can prepare and plan for sickness and death through a proper and current estate plan.

Stressing the Importance of Estate Planning During Covid-19

At Puff & Cockerill, we remain open for business and will continue to provide estate planning services to residents in New Jersey. As we recommend to all clients, each individual over the age of 18 should have, at a minimum, the basic estate planning documents: a Last Will and Testament, General Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, and a Living Will. Each estate planning document serves a purpose and together they provide an estate plan that may properly advance your goals and objectives.

While many individuals are sequestered at home with their family, it is an opportune time to reflect on your estate plan to ensure that your documents are in order. If you do not have an estate plan, there is no time like the present to start the process. As always, we advise that you consult an experienced estate planning attorney to assist you in your matters.

Pursuant to a newly enacted statute, you do not need to come to our office to sign your Will, Power of Attorney documents, or Living Will. You may now execute and verify your documents with authorized officials (i.e., our attorneys) using communication technology. Accordingly our office may remotely witness and affirm the execution of your estate planning documents via video conference with you while you are at home. The newly enacted statute was signed in order to fully and adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the State of New Jersey from any threat or danger from exposure to Covid-19..

Please contact our office at 856-845-0011 or at info@pufflaw.com to discuss your estate plan with one of our estate planning attorneys. We will continue to be available for our clients and new clients. We hope all of you remain safe and healthy.



Message to Our Clients Amid Coronavirus OutbreakWe are open for business

Given the current circumstances associated with the coronavirus outbreak, we are providing an update of our operations. We are open for business.  To ensure the safety of our employees and clients, we have a skeleton crew of essential staff at our Woodbury Office, with the remaining attorneys and staff available for remote operations.

We remain available by phone and email as normal.  Our attorneys and staff working remotely have full access to our computer systems.  While we cannot, at this time, field personal meetings, we are available to discuss by phone and email.  Fortunately, Puff & Cockerill has a full access system to allow our attorneys and staff to work remotely to continue to assist our clients.

We stand ready to assist all of our clients and welcome any new clients to contact our office at 856-845-0011 or at info@pufflaw.com.  Our staff will field your call and direct you accordingly.

We will continue to address any changes to our state and local mandates amid the coronavirus outbreak.  Our thoughts are with everyone impacted and wish everyone health and safety.

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