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April 2015 Archives

Estate planning for singles: A different approach

For many in New Jersey, the main focus of planning one's estate is to ensure that loved ones receive the inheritance that is planned for them, without incurring heavy taxation and outside of the probate process. For those residents who are unmarried and do not have children, estate planning may be structured around a different focus. Many forget that an important function of estate planning can have an impact while an individual is still alive.

Estate planning options for private collections

Completing one's estate plan provides a wonderful sense of relief for many in New Jersey. Once the distribution of assets has been structured and all incapacitation documents are in place, many people rest assured that they have adequately prepared for the inevitable. Often, however, there are holes within a given estate planning package. For many, one of the most frequently overlooked matters involves how a personal belongings will be passed on to loved ones.

Estate planning can protect assets from being squandered

One of the most difficult topics for a New Jersey family to address is how to create an estate plan that allows assets to pass to children without allowing those children to squander their inheritance. For one, tackling this matter requires parents to acknowledge that their child or children are not currently able to make solid financial decisions, and may not possess those skills for some time to come. When considering how to best provide for children without allowing them to squander their inheritance, there are several estate planning options to weigh.

Avoiding probate just one benefit of estate planning

A great deal of focus within estate planning is centered on the best way to transfer assets to children and grandchildren after the death of a loved one. For couples in New Jersey without children, a different estate planning approach is often taken, and the focus becomes how to best ensure that one's own needs are taken care of in the event of an incapacitating illness or injury. It is one thing to consider how one would like to be cared for in such circumstances, but another to actually structure a plan to make sure that one's wishes are followed in this most important regard. This aspect of estate planning is often overshadowed by a focus on passing on assets and avoiding probate.

Addressing disparity within estate planning

Within many New Jersey families, a level of rivalry exists among siblings. This is a normal and healthy set of circumstances between brothers and sisters, and is often channeled into positive level of competition and banter between family members. When it comes to estate planning, however, sibling rivalry can take on a much more contentious form. For those who plan to leave disparate inheritances to their children, it is absolutely essential to discuss the matter far in advance.

Asset protection for those who live abroad

Many New Jersey residents will spend a portion of their lives living abroad. Known as expats, Americans who live outside of the country for extended periods of time have a number of unusual legal needs. Creating a solid asset protection plan is an example, and individuals and families must take care to ensure that their wishes are properly documented prior to setting out on an extended trip abroad.

Include a financial inventory with estate planning documents

Many New Jersey residents experience a sense of relief when their estate planning documents have been drafted and signed. Having this important financial step completed can bring about a feeling of comfort in the knowledge that these matters have been properly addressed. However, there is one addition to the estate planning process that is often overlooked. Including a financial inventory can be a great help to the individual(s) tasked with administering the estate.

Moving beyond the old model of estate tax planning

In decades past, individuals who were seeking estate planning guidance were told that there are three basic places where one can leave their assets upon death: family, charity or taxes. This approach defined the overall estate planning process for many years, but it does little to meet the needs of today's clients. Many New Jersey residents want to make their estate plan about more than the simple passing of assets to family members and reducing their estate tax burden.