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November 2013 Archives

How to start estate plan

New Jersey residents who want to avoid intestacy and want their loved ones to receive a specific portion of their estate may consider creating an estate plan. An estate plan puts the power in these individuals' hands and avoids the state laws regarding who should stand to inherit. However, there are other important aspects of an estate plan beyond a simple will.

Estate planning may go smoother by following professional tips

For New Jersey residents wanting to preserve their legacy and provide for later generations, an estate plan is a vital tool. While estate planning can involve a multitude of different documents and legal tools, financial professionals make some basic suggestions that can make the entire process less troublesome while putting everyone at ease that a person's wishes will be followed.

Do not get complacent about federal estate tax exemption yet

U.S. citizens may be pleased that the federal government has offered generous estate tax deductions; however, they should not get too complacent yet. New Jersey is one of the 19 states that still levy death taxes. Several states, including Washington, D.C., assess estate taxes, and seven states collect inheritance taxes, which are paid by the decedent's heirs as opposed to the estate. New Jersey and Maryland are the two states that assess both; however, New Jersey offers one of the lowest exemptions at $675,000.

Some benefits of estate planning

New Jersey residents may wonder exactly what estate planning is, what it entails or how it might benefit them. At its most basic level, estate planning is a way of ensuring that a decedent's assets are distributed in accordance with the person's wishes. There are different means of doing this.

Planning for retirement spending

New Jersey residents who are planning for retirement may find the case studies of estate planning individuals interesting. Nursing home planning is an example of an area that should be carefully considered in retirement years, and many couples face concerns about whether their assets will last to cover such expenses. A list of priorities for retirement is important as many couples face interests in traveling and other enjoyable activities. At the same time, they face the need to preserve assets for unexpected medical and care needs.

Michael Jackson's estate facing lawsuit from Quincy Jones

Just when it seemed as if all of the fiasco surrounding Michael Jackson's death may have subsided, producer Quincy Jones has brought forth a lawsuit against the deceased King of Pop's estate. In a probate challenge that will likely be heard of from Bergen, New Jersey, to Honolulu, Hawaii, Jones is seeking at least $10 million from the estate.

Estate tax rules differ widely by state

While the Federal government is giving beneficiaries a generous estate tax exemption, states like New Jersey are not. In fact, New Jersey imposes an estate tax and an inheritance tax on estates with a value about $675,000. Some attorneys who do estate planning for their clients recommend that they move to a state such as Florida that does not have a death tax.