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Estate Planning Lawyer Bergen County NJ

Estate Planning Lawyer Bergen County NJ

If you haven’t yet created a virtual estate plan, please connect with an experienced estate planning lawyer Bergen County, NJ residents trust. In today’s world, having a virtual estate plan in place is critically important. Some people may not think of establishing a virtual estate plan, and instead opt for a traditional one on paper. Many people can benefit from having one. The only New Jersey residents who don’t need a virtual estate plan in place are most of those who are younger than 18 years of age and those who for whatever reason have chosen to remain electronically disconnected from the remainder of the world. A virtual estate plan offers many benefits, especially today where fraud and identity theft are common. If you are an adult and have so much as an email account and/or a social media login, you’ll want to speak with a knowledgeable Bergen County, NJ estate planning lawyer about creating a legally enforceable virtual estate plan.

Virtual Estate Planning  An Introduction

A virtual estate plan can be drafted as a modern addition to any existing estate plan or one can be created as part of a new estate plan, if you don’t already have one in place. An estate plan does not have to be done on paper. Essentially, a virtual estate plan will direct your estate administrator to treat your virtual assets, intellectual property, logins, and accounts in specific ways in the event that you either pass away or become incapacitated. It is an efficient way to add updates to an existing estate plan because the changes can be made more quickly. 

Imagine for a moment that something unexpected happens to you and you’re no longer in a position to access any of your online presence as a result of accident, injury, illness, or death. While it is an uncomfortable thought, it is critical to have an answer to, since it can affect not just you, but your estate and any dependents you may have as well. Ask yourself who would you want to have access to any/all of your online accounts? Who would you NOT want to have access to any/all of your online accounts? Would you want to grant anyone the power to modify your online presence in any way or to benefit from any of your intellectual property stored online? How would you want your social media accounts to be treated? Your email? Creating a virtual estate plan with the assistance of the experienced team at Kaplan Law Practice, LLC will allow you to address these issues and any other issues raised by your online presence that could affect your loved ones, your assets, and your privacy in the event of your death or incapacitation. Any legal document like an estate plan should be secured. Making a virtual estate plan is beneficial because it includes additional layers of security so only authorized individuals can access it. Because the estate plan is stored online, it allows the people you authorize to access it from anywhere. It is more convenient compared to having a traditional estate plan. 

Another important reason to ensure that an enforceable virtual estate plan is in place involves the administration of your broader estate. If any of your assets and accounts are primarily accessed online, your estate may have a difficult (and possibly impossible) time accessing those assets and accounts unless you put a virtual estate plan in place empowering your estate to be granted the access it needs to your online presence. As you can see, a failure to act now to ensure that someone has authority to act on behalf of your estate in this way and ideally has easy access to logins and passwords for critical accounts could significantly impact your loved ones down the road.

5 Reasons an Estate Plan Is Important

An estate plan goes further than a will. It can be composed of multiple documents, and it is much more comprehensive. What you choose to include in an estate plan depends on your unique needs. Your will is an important element of your estate plan as it outlines your wishes regarding your assets after your death. But an estate plan also dictates your wishes about your health and finances while you’re living. An estate plan can include a living will, a healthcare power of attorney and a financial power of attorney, which are valid only until your death. Preparing an estate plan while you are healthy and of sound mind is recommended, especially if you have family members who may be affected. If you’ve been putting off your estate plan, here are five good reasons to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to get started.

Avoid Probate

Probate is the legal process of distributing your estate to your beneficiaries. The probate process can be long, and there may be legal hurdles that could affect when it can be completed. Another reason many people want to avoid probate is because it prevents heirs from accessing their inheritance right away.  If you want to avoid probate, you’ll need to work with an estate planning attorney to deal with your assets before your death. A will doesn’t negate probate. A trust can. Your estate planning lawyer can help you navigate this process so you can avoid any issues that may come up during probate.

Reduce and Even Eliminate Estate Taxes 

Depending on the size of your estate, your beneficiaries may have inheritance taxes. You will want to make sure your taxes are handled properly before your assets are passed down to your beneficiaries. If you do not do so, they may have to go through the inconvenience of figuring it out themselves. There are some techniques that can be used to reduce the burden on your heirs, but again, you must set these things in place before your death. To learn what strategies you can use to minimize your inheritance taxes, talk to an estate planning lawyer to assist you in structuring your estate plan. 

Avoid a Mess 

Modern families are often complex, with multiple layers. One parent may have adult children from one spouse and minor children from another. You may own a business with an unrelated partner. Estate planning avoids family fights and costly court battles over who gets what and how. When your family involves unique custody arrangements, this is especially important to settle very early on. For example, if you and your ex-spouse want to designate guardians for your children, you will have to come to an agreement. Another area that you need to consider is how you want your future healthcare decisions to be carried out and by whom. You choose who is in charge of your assets if you are incapacitated, not just when you die. Because there are so many scenarios and topics within an estate plan that must be considered, you should have a thorough discussion with your family and loved ones about your specific goals and how you want them accomplished. 

Protect Your Assets 

Estate planning protects your assets during your lifetime. You could choose from a variety of legal strategies to secure your assets and keep them away from the wrong hands. If you are in a professional career where you could be sued, your estate plan can keep your assets from being seized. Asset protection planning is a legal and upfront way to protect your assets, but it must be done before any lawsuit is filed. The last thing you will want to do is think of a plan to put in place at the last minute once an issue has come up. To learn about ways you can protect your assets, reach out to an estate planning lawyer and they will be able to give you suggestions.

Protect Your Beneficiaries 

With estate planning, you can name the trustee for your estate plan, keeping it out of the hands of someone who is bad at managing money. If you have minor children, you can be assured of who is handling their needs and finances until they become adults. Your estate plan can also protect you in the event of a divorce, depending on how it’s set up.

An estate plan can also deal with your electronic assets and accounts. Talk to an estate planning attorney about your needs and goals.

When to Start an Estate Plan

An estate plan is advised to be started whenever a person begins to accumulate assets and build up their estate. This is something that generally begins for people in their 20’s and 30’s, and for some others a bit later. Many people think that estate plans are something that is supposed to be done when they get older, but starting this at an earlier age can make the entire estate planning process easier for people throughout their lives. An estate planning lawyer in Bergen County, NJ from Kaplan Law Practice, LLC can provide the guidance and support that you need in drafting your estate plan. Our lawyers are skilled with years of experience in dealing with estate plans and can help to get yours done too. We understand the complexities and details when it comes to delicate estate planning and can also provide the guidance you need with handling these family and financial affairs.

Estate Planning is for all Tax Brackets

Numerous individuals believe that estate planning is only for those who are especially wealthy. This is not the case as anyone who has assets is advised to do an estate plan. By creating and finalizing an estate plan, a person ensures that their assets are transferred to those they wish to have them. Without an estate plan in place, the entire process is much more difficult for family members and loved ones who have to deal with the person’s estate. This means a potentially lengthy probate process and court dealings that may see turmoil arise in families and loved ones. A Bergen County, NJ estate planning lawyer is ready to sit down with you and complete your estate plan to make everything easier for both you and your loved ones. Lawyers from Kaplan Law Practice, LLC are awaiting your consultation and are more than ready to help you out.

What’s Included in an Estate Plan

An estate plan is more than just saying who gets what when you or a loved one passes on. While wills and trusts are some of the most important things included in an estate plan, there are also some other crucial things to consider and include. Power of Attorney is something that you will want to include in your estate plan. This is a designated person that you choose, usually a family member or close friend, who can make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to. There are different kinds of Power of Attorneys so when you speak with your Bergen County, NJ estate planning lawyer they can help answer your questions about the different types. Another crucial thing to include in an estate plan is guardianship if you have children. You will want to ensure that your children are taken care of by someone who is willing and trustworthy to care for them. Kaplan Law Practice, LLC lawyers can help you through the guardianship process as well and include it in your estate plan. 

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you don’t yet have a virtual estate plan in place, as part of your existing estate plan or because you don’t yet have an estate plan, please connect with the Law offices of Joshua Kaplan today. Scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable Bergen County, NJ estate planning lawyer will help to ensure that your wishes are clearly articulated, enforceable, and ultimately honored.

Josh Kaplan is an excellent lawyer. He carefully listens to his clients and their needs and then provides the appropriate legal solutions. I strongly recommend anybody to use his services as he is very knowledgeable, honest and discreet and gets the job done within the promised time frame.

Eric C

Joshua Kaplan came immediately to the hospital when my relative was in an accident and was very helpful in expediting necessary documents which ultimately gave me the power to save My Godmother's life as she needed emergency life saving surgery and did not have a health care power of attorney prior to this accident. Mr. Kaplan was very professional as well as very caring and extremely helpful in this very stressful situation. I would highly recommend Mr.Joshua Kaplan for his legal expertise and cannot praise him enough for all his help.


My dealings with Joshua have been nothing but pleasant and the work he did for us was complete and done in a timely manner.

He was very attentive to our company's needs and gave us 110% for the work we needed completed.


We used Josh for many things. He did my patent. Wrote it quick and very through. He also did a TM and design patent for our company. I have used other Lawer for different things and have never been more happier. Josh was alway available, called us back within a day. We highly recommend kaplan law practice.

Leonora Malakh

Josh is skillful and diligent attorney that handles estates trusts in NY and NJ. So if you are looking for a lawyer to help you and guide through the complexities of probating your estate or inheritance he is capable of delivering needed results.


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