97 Maple Ave, Red Bank, NJ 07701

Elder Law in Red Bank, New Jersey

PATRICIA A. BENNETT, ESQ. of Red Bank, New Jersey, offers personalized advice that ensures your wishes will be met. We help you take control of your legal matters. Contact us now at (732) 747-8646 to discuss your particular legal needs


A Will is a legal document which allows you to dispose of your property after death. If you do not make a Will, the State of New Jersey does it for you. In a Will, you can also name the person(s) you want to administer your estate and avoid a bonding fee. In preparing a Will it is necessary to determine who will receive your property after death and in what proportion, e.g., a specific bequest of an amount of money or a particular item to a person/persons or institution and designation of the distribution of the residue of your estate to a person/ persons or charity, usually identified by percentages to allow for fluctuations in the value and amount of property after death. In addition, you should know who you wish to administer your estate after death, i.e., the Personal Representa-tive or Executor, and usually allow for alternates in the event the individual or individuals named are not available or able to serve in such capacity. It is especially important for parents and grand-parents of minor children to provide for a trust to hold assets after death with an individual or individuals named as a Trustee(s). Also, it is imperative for parents to name a Guardian for children should they die before the children reach the age of eighteen (18). Again, there should always be primary individual(s) named and alternate(s) in the event he/she/they cannot or will not serve.

Power Of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to name a person or persons to take care of your person and/or property while you are alive but unable to take care of those matters yourself because of physical or mental disability. It is only effective while the person is alive. In preparing a Power of Attorney it is necessary for you to provide the name and addresses of the persons you wish to name as your agent(s) or attorney(s)-in-fact and always provide an alternate or alternates to serve in such capacity should the individuals named be unable or unwilling to act on your behalf.

Living Will (Advance Directive)

This document allows a person "in advance" and before he or she is in a terminally ill condition, which necessitates the use of some type of life-support or artificial means, "to direct" that he/she does not want to be kept alive by such means. In preparing a living will (advance directive) it is necessary to provide the name, address and telephone number of the individual you wish to name as your Health Care Representative. This document can only designate one individual at a time to act on your behalf; however, you should provide names, addresses and telephone numbers of any alternate(s) who may act if the primary Health Care Representative is unable or unwilling to do so.


This legal entity allows a person to set up a device whereby he or she can transfer his or her property into a form of holding company for a specific purpose. Most people use trusts to avoid probate after death. Trusts can be “living” which means they are made and operative while an individual is alive or “testamentary” which means they are included in a will to be operative after a person dies. In preparing a trust it is necessary to provide the name(s) and address(es) of the individual(s) you wish to act as the Trustee in charge of administering the provisions of the Trust. Again, you should always name alternate(s) in the event the first person(s) designated cannot or will not serve in that capacity. Living trusts are either revocable (meaning it can be changed at any time during a person's lifetime) or irrevocable (meaning it cannot be changed once it has been executed). Revocable trusts are used to hold real property and funds when an individual wants to remove them from his or her name, but still have control over the asset(s), and irrevocable trusts are used when an individual wants to remove the real property and funds completely from his or her name and control. Irrevocable trusts are used for Medicaid planning purposes.

“Special Needs Trusts” are either living or testamentary trusts which provide for an individual who is receiving government assistance and cannot own assets over a particular amount to enjoy the benefits of his/her loved one's bounty without jeopardizing or losing that assistance. This type of trust allows for a loved one to provide money to be held by a Trustee and used for the “special needs” of the recipient during his/her lifetime and then passed on to other beneficiaries. It is an excellent way to protect and provide for a disabled loved one.


When your loved one is no longer able to take care of themselves or their financial matters and they have not executed a Power of Attorney appointing an agent or attorney-in-fact to assist them in this regard, a family member or friend will need to file a complaint in the Superior Court requesting a Guardian be appointed to act for that individual. Once appointed by the Court, the Guardian will be able to take care of the person and property of the incapacitated person. Usually one individual makes the application; however, the Court does allow Co-Guardians on occasion if warranted.


In an situation where an individual is competent but because of age and/or infirmity cannot care for himself/herself or his/her property and he/she wishes to have an individual appointed by the Superior Court to act on his/her behalf, that individual can petition the Court to have a Conservator appointed to act on his/her behalf.


At the law offices of Patricia A. Bennett, Esq., we also assist with Medicaid planning and Medicaid applications. We help from initial application to approval. We also handle all problems that might arise during the application process. Several documents must be provided to Social Services in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits, including but not limited to birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, Medicare and insurance cards and documentation as to premium amounts paid, life insurance documentation should there be cash surrender values, deeds to real estate, titles to vehicles and documentation as to assets owned by the applicant and/or his/her spouse for sixty (60) months prior. As an attorney acting on behalf of an individual, the fees paid for this application are deductible from the funds allowable to be spent down in order for an individual to qualify for Medicaid; however, if a loved one performs this functions, he or she cannot charge such fees. Therefore, it is more economical and time-effective for an attorney to perform this function than for a relative or friend to use up so much of his/her time in such endeavor.
Contact us to avoid having someone make decisions about your finances with our elder law attorney.