We sat down with Jason Wyatt with the law firm Bennett & Wyatt, LLC.  His partner is Dana Bennett.

Wyatt said he was drawn to the law by working as an intern for an aunt who was a lawyer and introduced him to mediation and he thought, “This was a really cool thing to do; solve peoples disputes outside of courtroom and not have them spend a lot of money.”  He selected (The) Ohio State University which is a top mediation law school and on the advice of his professors he decided to focus on trusts and estates as a practice.

Estate planning is to avoid any intra-family fighting and make it clear so that there are no question marks as what should happen when the last parent passes.  This can become more complicated with second marriages, a widowed spouse getting married, second homes, “snow birds” and the children’s interests on "blended" families.

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Wyatt discussed that the best scenario would be for the parent to plan their estate if they perceive a future problem such as siblings that don’t get along.  “The parent is often the peacekeeper and we can set up a plan so as to avoid a really bad situation."

There are significant costs to not planning your estate.  “If you don’t go through process of putting together a Will, Power of Attorney, Trusts, etc., there are a default set of rules in New Jersey that will govern what will happen, and that slows down the process and can get very expensive” note Wyatt.

Many parents say they don’t want to complicate things. Wyatt said that it may look complicated to them but they “Should do their kids a favor and do it now because who knows how well they’ll be able to handle it later.”

Wyatt said that the best part of job is that he gets to meet awesome people from all walks of life;  singles, seniors and married couples just having kids throughout the day and each one has their own story.  “My partner Dana Bennett and I both have Master degrees in taxation which requires a law degree first.  We have particular training in tax law when it comes to estate, capital gains and inheritance taxes.”

The challenges that the firm Wyatt and Bennett’s face and where their real expertise comes in with the constantly changing tax laws.  “It’s like playing a board game and they change the rules in the middle of the game.  You have to keep up and know the rules.”

Planning your estate allows you to know exactly what’s going to happen; who’s going to get what, how’s it going to be divided and who’s in charge. 

Want to sleep at night with the comfort that you’ve done the right thing by your family?

Call the law firm Bennett & Wyatt and start your plan!

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