Everyone has an estate – it does not matter how big or how small.
A simple or complex will is helpful in distributing your possessions to a specific person or charity at the time of your death. A Will can also allow for significant tax savings if your estate is in excess of $675,000 (New Jersey estate tax rate).
Assets are either classified as probate assets, which pass under a decedent’s Last Will and Testament, or as non-probate assets, which are not controlled by a Will (i.e., assets that are owned as joint-tenants or assets that pass pursuant to beneficiary designations). A Will is a legal document which provides for the disposition of the decedent’s probate estate.
Through a Will you can also designate who can act as a fiduciary – executor, trustee or guardian. The executor is responsible for winding up affairs and settling the estate. The trustee is responsible for managing the assets, from investment to distribution. The guardian is responsible for taking care of the minor child. Careful selection of these fiduciaries is essential.
Sandra Woolcock concentrates her practice in trusts and estates, wealth transfer, estate planning, estate administration and probate, guardianship, special needs and dispute resolution arising from complex New Jersey Wills. She seeks to maximize the goals of estate owners including limiting tax liability, avoiding or minimizing probate court involvement, and in anticipating and planning for issues affecting estate transfer.
Ms. Woolcock is also an experienced real estate lawyer representing both buyers and sellers in New Jersey. She has over seventeen years of experience as a practicing New Jersey lawyer. Prior to opening her office, she worked for one of the largest insurance companies in the United States where she was responsible for estate and tax planning, asset management and trust services.
Ms. Woolcock serves on the Planned Giving Board Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Foundation Board House of Good Shepard and is a Trustee for the Warren County Bar Association.