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10 important matters to consider in estate planning, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at an article discussing important matters all those engaged in estate planning need to consider.

One of the more complicated aspects of estate planning is planning for taxes in their various forms, including income, estate, gift and generation skipping tax. In New Jersey, there are both inheritance and estate taxes to be mindful of. Tax planning involves determining your goals in regard to various assets, and how one sees those goals in relation to potential tax savings across the various tax systems. Because taking advantages in one often lead to disadvantages in another area of taxation, it really pays to work with an expert who can help navigate the tax waters.

Another important consideration in estate planning is the issue of attorney's fees. Ideally, most estate planning matters are dealt with while you are living, so that family members have as little as possible to worry about when you're gone. Sometimes families cannot agree on what course to take and more money ends up being spent on attorney's fees. Careful planning not only saves your family trouble, it also allows you to control the amount of money spent on attorney's fees.

Sometimes individuals named as executors and trustees are unable to fulfill that function when the time comes. It could be any number of reasons why they are unable to fulfill their role, but it is important to name alternate individuals to serve so that a court doesn't have to get involved. It is also wise to provide alternate plans for your estate in case the individual you name as the beneficiary dies or is otherwise unable to inherit the property.

In our next post, we'll finish this discussion of important aspects of estate planning of which to be aware.

Source: Statesman Journal, "Top 10 estate planning concerns," Eden rose Brown, 3 June 2011.

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