What is the Lawyers Role?
It is easy to be lured by advertisements claiming you can save time and money by drafting your own will using do-it-yourself software or fill-in-the-blank will kits. It is unlikely that these systems will generate a suitable will that accomplishes all your objectives. Only a qualified lawyer can interpret the maze of laws bearing on property rights, taxes, wills, probate, and trusts.
On the other hand, you can save time and money by preparing thoroughly for a meeting with your estate planning lawyer. You can organize your information regarding your assets, liabilities, and title arrangements and discuss your feelings about providing for various family members. You should provide copies of important documents such as previous wills or trusts, powers-of-attorney, life insurance policies, employment benefits, and prenuptial agreements or divorce decrees.
Not every state has a program requiring or allowing attorneys to designate a specialty area of practice, so you should inquire about the level of experience and qualifications in estate planning when selecting an attorney. Membership in certain bar associations or estate planning organizations often indicates a level of dedication to the estate planning field and a commitment to keeping abreast of the law. Most important, you should choose an attorney in whom you have confidence, either through recommendations from friends or your other professional advisors.
The advice and direction of your attorney will be essential to implementing an estate plan that both disposes of your assets according to your wishes and meets your other personal objectives.
Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,
2053 Woodbridge Avenue,
Edison, NJ 08817,