Canarick & Canarick Attorneys at Law
The last thing anybody wants to think about is writing a will. As hard as it is, it’s a vital part of life. But more importantly, how a will is structured is as crucial. Believe me, after the complications my family has been through with the loss of Greg’s father, I understand the importance of a will and what happens when it is not executed properly. Sometimes living through a nightmare guides you to a light that can help you get through the darkness. In our case it was Mike Canarick, Will & Estate Planning Attorney.
Mike Canarick’s expertise in his field has made him one of the best Will & Estate Planning attorney’s in New Jersey and New York. He has had many years of experience helping individuals and families plan for the future and manage a smooth transfer of assets to the next generation. Everyone’s circumstances and desires are unique, making it important to have a plan that is custom-tailored to your needs. Mike will help you create a well-crafted estate plan that will clearly express your specific wishes for your property, your children, end of life care, and burial. Mike Canarick will also guide you through all of these situations:
Reduce the amount of estate taxes incurred
The State of New Jersey has the lowest estate tax exemption of any state in the entire country at $675,000. To determine the size of your estate for tax purposes you include not only your liquid savings and investments, but also the value of any real estate, the value of your retirement accounts, the value of your business and the death benefit of your life insurance. In other words, almost everybody exceeds the exemption amount and will be subject to the tax. Mike utilize’s various tax strategies to reduce or eliminate these taxes. Some of these strategies can be built right into a Will. Mike believes that any Will that does not include these strategies is inadequate.
Those who are young often postpone estate planning, assuming they have decades to address such issues. But having a will is especially important for parents with young children because it allows them to name guardians for minor children and make sure arrangements are made so the guardians or surviving spouse will have the financial support they need to raise the children if a parent or both parents were to die unexpectedly.
When leaving assets to children, it is important that they do not gain control until they are old enough to handle it. Without proper planning, state law will allow a child to gain full access to his or her inheritance upon attaining age 18. Mike feels this is probably the most dangerous age to turn money over to children. He believes it is important that money be held in trust with a trusted friend or relative in control until a child attains a certain age. In general, Mike thinks it makes sense to turn control over assets to a child in stages so they are not getting everything in one fell swoop (i.e. you hear the stories of a person winning the lottery and being broke within a year).
Creditor Protection/Divorce Protection
There are ways to pass assets to spouses and children so that they are protected in the event of a divorce or lawsuit. This is especially important when passing assets to children or spouses who have a high degree of lawsuit risk in their profession (i.e. doctors). Obviously divorce protection is important for everyone.
What if you die and your spouse remarries? How can you assure that your children are protected? What if your spouse leaves everything to the new spouse? Even if the spouse does not want to leave anything to a new spouse there are laws in place to protect that new spouse. How do you make sure that your children are protected? Are you in a second marriage? How do you provide for your new spouse while still protecting your children from the first spouse? Did you and your new spouse come up with a plan to protect everybody? How do you know that they will carry out that plan after you are gone?
Do you want to make sure that any assets that you leave to your children ultimately make their way down to your grandchildren. By using trusts you can maintain a level of control even after your death. Many times assets end up in the hands of a son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
Who will take care of your children if you are gone? You need to name a Guardian. Who will manage assets for the children until they are old enough and responsible enough to take full control? You need to name a Trustee. Who will make sure that everything that gets done after you death actually does get done (i.e. tax returns are filed, property is sold, accounts are closed out, bills are paid off, trusts get set up, etc., etc.)? You need to name an Executor.
Power of Attorney
Who will manage your legal and financial affairs if you are unable to do so on your own? You need to appoint someone under a power of attorney?
Living Will/Health Care Proxy
Most people do not want to be kept alive artificially in the event that there is no hope of recovery. You need a Living Will to legally express this. In addition, you need to appoint a health care proxy to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them on your own.
Planning for your future can be daunting and overwhelming. But with Mike by your side, you can protect your assets and your loved ones so you can focus on what matters.
Mike Canarick received his law degree at the University of Arizona and his Masters in Tax Law at NYU. He has been practicing law for 15 years with a sole focus in the area of Estate Planning. After working at a large firm for the first seven years of his career, Mike opened his own practice eight years ago. Mike is licensed to practice law in both New Jersey and New York.