33-11 Broadway, Suite 2, Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

Attorney Provides Practical Advice on Wills in Bergen County

Fair Lawn wills and estates lawyer helps clients provide for their families’ futures

Whether you are wealthy or of modest means, you want to ensure that your assets pass to your family and other preferred beneficiaries when you die. A well-drafted will can convey your intentions and be given court approval. At The Paton Law Firm in Fair Lawn, I have decades of experience helping people in northern New Jersey make wills that effectively carry out their estate planning objectives.

Drafting a will

A will comprises your instructions for managing and distributing your estate. When you are ready to make your will, I can help you draft language that comports with your intentions. Your will should do the following:

  • Direct how and to whom your property will be distributed.
  • Direct how your funeral expenses, inheritance taxes, costs of estate administration and other debts should be paid.
  • Name the executor who will manage your estate.
  • State your choice of a guardian for any minor children.
  • Create any desired trusts for the benefit of charities or of recipients who are not eligible to receive their estate shares outright.

The key to efficient will creation is to have all necessary information at hand and to have a clear idea of your objectives. If you aren’t sure how to divide your property among your heirs and other beneficiaries, I can help you devise an approach that takes into account your family structure, the financial situations of your heirs and whether any beneficiaries have special needs that might be met by creating trusts. 

Once I finish drafting the will and you have had a chance to review it, I will discuss it with you, answer any questions you have and modify any provisions as desire. When it’s finished, we will meet again so you can sign the will. The entire process may take from a few days to a few months, depending on the complexity of your estate.

Handling special bequests

A special bequest is a provision in your will that leaves a particular item of property to a particular person. For instance, it might be an item you promised to an heir or a gift to a friend who would otherwise not inherit from you. It differs from a general bequest, which usually distributes all or a percentage of the estate in the form of money. A special bequest is usually not taxable to the beneficiary. I can help you decide how to structure the bequests in your will so as to carry out your intentions efficiently.

Revising instructions

As time goes by, changes in your circumstances or intentions might require you to amend your existing will. For instance, you might divorce and remarry, have more children, acquire more property or simply change your mind about bequests you have made. Fortunately, you may amend or revoke your will whenever you like, as long as you are capable. If the change is minor, you may execute a codicil, which amends specific provisions of the will but leaves the rest untouched. To avoid confusion, however, the best practice is to create a new will and revoke the prior one. I can advise you on how best to revise your current will. I also advise beneficiaries who want to challenge a deficient will or make changes to it.

Contact an estate planning lawyer in New Jersey 

At The Paton Law Firm LLC in Fair Lawn, I draft comprehensive wills for estate planning clients throughout northern New Jersey. To request a free initial consultation, call my office at 201-470-4801 or contact me online.


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