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March 2014 Archives

We can learn from high-profile estate planning mistakes

Many Americans have the enviable ability to learn from the mistakes made by others, and apply that knowledge to their own lives. In this way, we can often avoid making similar mistakes, which can save a great deal of time, money and effort. When it comes to estate planning, the high-profile mistakes made by certain celebrities offer a number of important lessons, many of which can be put to use by all New Jersey residents.

Estate Planning: Time is of the essence

When it comes to planning one's estate, it often seems as though tomorrow is an excellent time to begin. The urge to delay this important task can be based on a number of factors, not the least of which is a lack of desire to consider one's own demise. However, estate planning is a matter in which timing can make or break the eventual outcome. New Jersey residents would be well served to create a scheduled time and date to address the matter, and then protect that appointment in the same way that one would honor a medical appointment or other essential obligation.

Even a simple estate plan could need a 'tune-up'

Many New Jersey residents complete their estate planning documents and then set them aside, comforted by the fact that they have taken the steps necessary to ensure that their wishes are followed by those they will eventually leave behind. However, even the most simple estate plan needs to be given a "tune-up" every so often. Ensuring that your estate plan still meets your needs is an important part of providing for loved ones in the future.

Estate planning should focus on living, now and in the future

For many in New Jersey, the prospect of planning their estate involves the uncomfortable matter of confronting their eventual death. However, this is a very narrow view of a very broad topic, and one that is not particularly productive. Estate planning is ultimately more about living than dying, as the outcomes can shape the lives of those we care about the most.

Estate planning safeguards one's assets in New Jersey

All their lives, people might be so focused on acquiring wealth and making sure that they have something to pass on to children and loved ones. The problem is that many of these individuals have not engaged in estate planning, which means all that they've worked for might not end up in the right hands when they pass away. A few tips will help people in New Jersey to safeguard their assets and protect their families' financial futures.

Life insurance policy an important part of estate planning

When people are young, they typically are more focused on keeping their jobs and caring for their families than on preparing for death. After all, for many, death is likely decades away. However, some people may unexpectedly come face-to-face with death today, too. It is for this reason that participating in estate planning in New Jersey is critical for people of all ages. One important part of an estate plan that some people neglect to include is their life insurance policies.

Don't forget about New Jersey estate tax when planning

The federal estate tax exemption for 2014 is an impressive $5.34 million. Many New Jersey residents believe their estate plans can now be simplified since the majority of people's estates will never reach that level. People believe their estate tax exposure is small, if anything.

Is it possible to avoid probate without a will?

When considering their estate planning needs, many people who do not have significant financial holdings assume that they have no need for many of the tools offered within the estate planning process. It is true that individuals with a low net worth can avoid probate without the use of a will, doing so can be tricky, and can lead to a range of difficulties. In addition, there are other estate planning practices that should be put into place no matter how much money a New Jersey resident has amassed at the time of their death.