Michael A. Manna & Associates
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Phone: 201-345-3018
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Phone: 201-345-3018

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August 2014 Archives

Estate planning solutions for special assets

The basic components of a solid estate plan have been covered in great detail, both here and within the larger media. However, many New Jersey residents are uncertain how to address assets that are of an unusual or special nature within their larger estate planning approach. The purpose of this article is to assure readers that there is an estate planning tool that can be used to handle all types of assets, even those that fall outside the bounds of what would be considered to be a “traditional” estate plan.

How small estates can reap big benefits by avoiding probate

One of the most common objections that New Jersey attorneys hear in regard to creating an estate plan involves the belief that an individual or family with only a moderate or modest level of wealth has no need to create such a plan. This, however, is far from true. Viewed from a different perspective, those with less modest financial holdings have an even greater need to protect those assets at the time of their death. Avoiding probate is key to preserving assets, and having more to pass on to loved ones.

Nursing home planning can help New Jersey families

Estate planning and planning for future medical needs can be overwhelming for New Jersey families. With so much to consider, it is hard to know if everything has been covered adequately. One aspect of planning for the future includes making arrangements for extended medical care. Nursing home planning, though not a top priority for some, can certainly come in handy and reduce a lot of stress should a time come when this type of service is needed.

New Jersey baby boomers need to consider estate planning

The segment of the population known as “baby boomers” is beginning to retire from the workforce. If they have not already created an estate plan, it is imperative that they do so. Estate planning can include medical directives, powers of attorney, a trust or a will. New Jersey families may feel intimidated if they are of the boomer generation and haven’t yet started determining their end-of-life directives, but it is never too late to make such an important change.

Estate tax and inheritance tax can diminish an estate

Nearly everyone is aware of the federal estate tax exemption, which is a generous $5.34 million per person for 2014, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Most people feel that they do not have to worry about estate taxes since the majority of estates do not reach this level. However, for those of us in New Jersey, the state assesses both estate tax and inheritance tax, and without proper planning, these taxes can quickly diminish an estate.

Are there gaps in your estate planning package?

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding estate planning is the idea that this is a singular, one-time need. Many in New Jersey feel that they can address the matter once and then move on, comforted by the fact that they have taken care of this important planning need. In reality, however, estate planning is more of a process, one that requires periodic review in order to ensure that one’s documents still reflect their wishes and their unique set of circumstances.

Do celebrities have better asset protection tactics?

As Americans, we tend to idolize celebrities, placing them upon pedestals that are sometimes deserved, and are often not. When it comes to estate planning and asset protection, it is easy to assume that the fame and wealth that many of these individuals enjoy will translate into a higher level of preparation than the rest of us enjoy. Not to mention the fact that many celebrities have far more wealth to manage than most New Jersey residents. In reality, however, the rich and famous often leave behind estates that are rife with poor planning and errors in judgment, just like many “regular” Americans.

Estate planning and the modern American family

Gone are the days when a “typical” American family consisted of a husband, wife and their offspring. In today’s world, families can take on an amazing array of shapes and configurations. This is especially true for those in New Jersey who marry more than once, and share a family connection with a mix of children, stepchildren and past and present spouses. In regard to estate planning, the modern American family offers a unique set of challenges.

How does life insurance factor into estate tax planning?

When a New Jersey resident dies, his or her estate is subject to taxation. Effectively reducing these taxes is an integral part of estate planning. There are a number of ways to limit the taxes that will come with the transfer of assets following a death. Life insurance is one estate tax planning tool that can be used to ensure that loved ones have the means to pay any remaining taxes.