4 Important Reasons to Avoid a Do-It-Yourself Will

last will and testament

DIY is fantastic, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as building your own skill set while you paint your new home, tile a bathroom or repair your deck. But, there are some things where DIY is not the way to go. This especially applies to legal documents, where years of training and experience are needed to draft ironclad documents that can withstand every challenge thrown at them. Your Last Will and Testament is one of these. Here are four good reasons why you should call your estate planning attorney in New Jersey when you want to draft your Will.

1. Your Situation Is Unique: 

DIY Wills are one-size-fits-all forms. However, if there’s one thing we all know it is that our financial situations, assets, and relationships are completely unique. No two Wills ever look the same. It’s up to the estate planning attorney to create this totally unique document, ensuring that your wishes are met and that the right legal framework is there to ensure they are carried out. We don’t fill out a form – we create a document that is as unique as you are.

2. DIY Wills Have No Quality Control: 

DIY Wills cause massive problems in the legal system because they often contain faults, ambiguities, and spaces for legal conflicts to arise. Often, they are created by persons who have no legal experience or qualifications to do so, which means your wishes are left unclear and can be challenged in court. This is costly for families and can become the root of severe conflict between loved ones, which isn’t anything that anyone wants to leave behind as their legacy.

3. DIY Wills Have Disclaimers: 

Your Last Will and Testament is one of the most important documents you will create in your lifetime. When you look at almost every DIY Will form, you’ll likely see a disclaimer that they are no substitute for sound legal advice. In a document where sound legal advice is key, these forms offer no guarantees that your wishes will be properly represented or carried out. Contrary to this risky course of action, if you use an experienced estate planning attorney to create your Will, you can rest assured that your Will is ironclad.

4. It Won’t Save You Money: 

Having an estate planning attorney draft your Will does carry a cost. After all, you are accessing all their years of skill and expertise in a complex field. But, while a DIY Will may be cheap, it usually won’t save anyone any money. In fact, it can be far more costly for your loved ones. That’s because these Wills are not as legally clear and sound as a professional Will, which means your loved ones may have to challenge decisions made by executors and the court, and this could result in much higher legal costs and delays than if you had a professionally-drafted document.

Get Peace of Mind and Security for Your Loved Ones With an Affordable, Professional Last Will and Testament

At Sedita, Campisano and Campisano in New Jersey, estate planning attorney Frank Campisano is ready to assist you with all your estate planning needs, whether you need a business succession plan, a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, a Living trust or want to minimize the inheritance tax in NJ on your estate.

Contact us today and let us deliver expert estate planning advice to take care of all your wishes – whether your estate is big or small. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.scclegal.com/

What Are Medicaid Transfer Penalties?


Medicaid is a fairly complex but important healthcare program, and professional Medicaid planning can help you to avoid penalties and maximize on benefits. One of the pitfalls to avoid are Medicaid transfer penalties. Here’s some advice on this issue from an experienced elder law attorney in New Jersey.

Understanding Medicaid Transfer Penalties

In the State of New Jersey, you need to meet certain qualification criteria in order to be granted access to Medicaid benefits, and some of these criteria revolve around the value of your assets.

Medicaid transfer penalties are designed to prevent people from gifting assets away within the 5-year look back period in order to access their Medicaid benefits earlier. This penalty can be severe. It is calculated by adding up the value of all the assets that have been transferred or gifted away and dividing that by the penalty divisor, which is currently set at $343.85 per day or $10,458.77 per month. However, many times your total gifted assets can be divided by this amount determines how many days of coverage will not be covered by Medicaid.

For example, if your total gifted assets amounted in value to $3,438.00, you would have to cover your own costs for a total of 10 days (which can amount to significantly more than $3,438.00, especially if you are in assisted living or require skilled nursing care). You can see that if the amount is much higher, which is likely for many Medicaid applicants, the penalty wait period can quickly amount to concerningly high costs.

How to Avoid or Minimize Medicaid Transfer Penalties

Here, you have a few options:

Have the Gifts Returned: 

This is not an easy process to clear with the Medicaid agency, and should only be attempted if there is no alternative. There is no clear precedent for Medicaid appeals based on the return of gifts although some cases have had some success. And, therefore, it’s advisable to have an elder law attorney in New Jersey to argue your appeal for you in this type of situation.

Limit Your Transfers to Those That Don’t Carry a Penalty: 

Some gifts and transfers don’t carry a penalty, like those to a spouse or a disabled child. Your primary residence can be transferred to your child of under 21, a child who has been your primary caregiver, or a child who has an equity share in the property. Again, these are fairly complex processes and, like any legal issue, have to follow an exact process in order to be seen as valid and meeting these specifications. An elder law attorney is an invaluable resource for managing these processes and ensuring your application process goes smoothly.

Avoid Transfer Penalties Through Medicaid Planning

The best way to avoid all kinds of Medicaid penalties, including transfer penalties, is through professional Medicaid planning.

Frank R. Campisano is a highly experienced and compassionate elder law attorney in New Jersey with considerable knowledge of Medicaid issues. In addition to planning ahead financially for Medicaid eligibility, he is also able to assist with NJ Medicaid applications, appeals and other Medicaid issues. If you or a family member needs assistance with their Medicaid planning or protecting their assets effectively, don’t hesitate to get help today.

In addition, you can also prepare additional estate planning documents, such as your Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney documents, and trusts.
For a free consultation and Medicaid assistance or NJ estate planning, please contact us today and speak to Frank R. Campisano, or visit our website at http://www.scclegal.com/

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