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Professional Advice on Estate Planning for Homeowners: An Interview with the Law Offices of Joseph D. Sullivan

By Joseph D. Sullivan

Tell us a little bit about your company and the areas of law that you practice.

Joseph D. Sullivan practices in estate planning, real estate and all aspects of litigation in the New York and New Jersey area.

What are the most important points homeowners must know about estate planning?

It is important to protect your home from going to the State if you do not have a will in place. Also, estate planning provides you with direction on how you want your property to be distributed upon your death.

Why is estate planning is essential for homeowners?

With such a large asset, it is in the home owner's interest to specify how they wish their real property to pass to their beneficiaries. Estate taxes can also be avoided if the estate is properly planned.

Can you give a brief breakdown of the key steps involved in estate planning?

The process involves meeting with an attorney where the home owner brings a list of their assets. They will review their directions with the attorney. The attorney will then draft a will, healthcare proxy, living will and power of attorney.

What is one of the challenges that homeowners face when they're creating an estate plan?

Difficulties arise when there is a second marriage and the testator has children from the first marriage.

What practical advice do you have for Pennsylvania homeowners who have not given much thought to creating an estate plan?

Without a plan, the estate can pass via intestacy and unnecessary taxes may be owed to the government. Intestacy is the law that provides how the estate is to be divided without a will. If there are no heirs, the estate may escheat to the State which is a result you do not want.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Joseph D. Sullivan can be reached by email at Josephd.Sullivan@att.net or by phone at (973) 361-4099.

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About The Author

Mr. Sullivan is a participating attorney with the AARP Legal Services Network. Mr....

Phone: 973-361-4099

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