New Jersey Estate Planning Lawyers

New Jersey Lawyers Skilled in Estate Planning, Business, and Personal Injury Matters

LEHRLAW is a boutique law firm that provides a full spectrum of legal services to individuals, families, and businesses with respect to estate and gift tax planning, asset protection, estate and trust administration, business law, real estate and personal injury cases. We assist all generations within a family in their personal and business lives. We pride ourselves on developing and maintaining relationships with clients that span many years and carry over into generations. Our New Jersey estate planning lawyers have successfully served our clients in New Jersey, New York, Florida, and throughout the U.S. for over 25 years. Our attentive service has fostered many wonderful personal and professional relationships with our clients.

Estate Planning

Estate planning allows our clients to plan for how their property and other important assets will be distributed upon their death, and we address issues such as incapacitation and estate tax. Without proper planning, families can lose much of their accumulated wealth because of estate taxes. We also help client look at the legal framework of how their assets will pass and identify approaches that are appropriate to use, based on trust laws and gift and estate tax laws. Once informed decisions are made, we help implement the strategy and draft documents to meet the specific objectives of a client.

Estate Administration

An estate is the property of somebody who passes away, or who is otherwise left incapacitated. During estate administration, assets must be collected and protected, and funeral expenses and debts must be paid. Only after those payments are made are the remaining assets distributed, either according to the laws of intestacy or according to a will or trust. Estates are administered by fiduciaries, who have a great deal of discretion, yet they need to act in the beneficiaries’ best interests, rather than their own. Our New Jersey estate planning attorneys work with executors and trustees to handle the legal, tax, and accounting work involved in fully and properly administering an estate.

Trust Planning

You may wonder if it is worth the time and expense to prepare and institute a trust. It is worthwhile. Trusts are vehicles of control and protection for assets. A trust is a legal arrangement whereby a trustee is appointed to hold legal title to property for a trust’s beneficiary. The person who creates the trust funds it, while the trustee manages and invests the property in it and keeps legal title to it. The same person may make the trust and serve as the trustee. Living trusts (revocable) are often created to avoid probate but do not achieve tax planning. Under the New Jersey Uniform Trust Code, the trustees of irrevocable trusts have a duty to disclose certain information to trust beneficiaries, who are supposed to be kept reasonably informed about trust administration and the material facts needed for beneficiaries to guard their interests. Irrevocable trusts do help achieve estate tax planning.

Trust Administration

Trust administration requires a trustee to manage trust property according to the terms of the trust document. It starts with a mandatory notice to all beneficiaries and settlors’ heirs. A trustee should work with an estate planning attorney in New Jersey during the process of trust administration. Beneficiaries have a specific number of days to file a trust contest. If no contest is filed in that time frame, the beneficiary loses the right to file it. Although the New Jersey legislature has adopted many provisions of the Uniform Trust Code, there are certain laws related to the trustee’s duties and the court’s power to modify or terminate a trust that are specific to New Jersey.

Asset Protection Planning

You may accumulate your estate during the course of a long lifetime. The holdings may come from various sources, but all of them can be lost in a blink of an eye unless you put asset protection planning into place. Asset protection strategies can help prevent or resolve issues related to creditors’ claims, prenuptial agreements, taxation, bequests made to beneficiaries with special needs, and Medicaid eligibility. Asset protection planning may involve the creation of a Domestic Asset Protection Trust. This type of trust can hold a personal residence, as well as investment assets and other real estate holdings, but it cannot be created to make fraudulent conveyances.

Business Law

In addition to serving as New Jersey estate planning lawyers, we guide clients through business formation, purchases, and sales, as well as business succession planning and all aspects of contract work. We help clients form corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and joint ventures. We can advise and assist with all aspects of startup and formation, including any issues related to choosing the property entity and jurisdiction to meet your business objectives. We assist client in buying a business or selling a business and all commercial activity in between.

Often, our clients’ businesses are their life’s work and their greatest asset. Unfortunately, many businesses do not adequately plan for changes in leadership. Business succession planning is vital to a business’ future. Succession plans emphasize a dedication to the long-term growth and continuation of the business. Proper planning can ensure that the business continues and that a family’s returns are maximized.

Personal Injury

Serious accidents may result from someone’s careless actions. We can help you pursue damages by bringing a personal injury action and/or lawsuit. In most cases, you will need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care but did not meet the standard that was required in the situation. You also will need to show that you would not have been injured if the defendant had acted reasonably. Common types of personal injury cases include lawsuits arising out of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, dangerous property conditions, medical malpractice, and defective products.

Explore Your Legal Options with Our Knowledgeable Attorneys

Whether you need an estate planning lawyer in New Jersey or assistance with forming a business or bringing a personal injury claim, there is no substitute for sophisticated legal counsel. Lehr Law represents clients throughout Essex, Passaic, Morris, Union, Bergen, Hudson, Sussex, Somerset, and Monmouth Counties, as well as in New York City and Florida. Call us at 973.575.8002 or use our online form to set up an appointment to find out more about how we can help you meet your specific goals.