Kathleen Scott Chasar, Esq. is encouraging everyone to plan for their future. Chasar has 17 years of experience as an elder care and family law lawyer. She has been a Ewing resident since 1984 and has strong ties in the community.

Chasar explains, “the earlier you plan for your future, the better you will be able to protect your resources.”

According to Chasar, the first steps are basic. “Everybody needs three documents. They need a power of attorney, a last will and testament, and a living will, also called a health care directive.” These documents take 20 minutes to prepare in her office, a week for her to prepare, and another 30 minutes to read and sign. “Then you are done.”

Conversely, if you wait until a health crisis happens to create these documents, it often takes much longer and is more expensive. For example, if a person is unable to sign a power of attorney due to being in a coma, it could take months for the courts to settle the issue. In the meantime bills are mounting, and decisions have to be made.

“In the long run, it costs more if you do not have the right documents. It is prudent to pay an attorney to do the documents than it is to petition the court.”

In her office Chasar can prepare a Power of Attorney for $225 as opposed to having to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to petition the court to have a guardian appointed.

Chasar stresses planning for your future is not a one-time event. “It is important to make sure all of these documents are current: your will, power of attorney, beneficiary forms, life insurance, pensions, etc.”

Chasar met recently with a new widow. Years earlier her husband had filled out his pension information listing his first (the current) wife as his beneficiary. Even after their divorce, and marrying his second wife (Chasar’s client) more than a decade ago, he did not change his beneficiary information. Upon his death, his first wife received his pension. There was nothing Chasar could do about it because “the State of New Jersey and most companies follow the information given on the beneficiary form.”

Chasar offers free seminars in planning for the future. Her areas of expertise include elder law, which encompasses asset protection and Medicaid planning so that all of your assets do no go to pay for a nursing home. If you belong to an organization or live in a plus-55 community and would like to sponsor a seminar, contact her office to set a date.

Family law is another area of her expertise. In cases of divorce she tries to take a civilized approach to encourage both parties to settle out of court and save legal fees, emotional distress, and time. She also handles other areas of family law including child support and prenuptial agreements.

Chasar knows many people do not like to think about their future, on the other hand to her it comes down to the expression “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Kathleen Scott Chasar, Esq., 903 Parkway Avenue, Ewing. 609-882-2200, Kathleenchasarlawnj.com.

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