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.
An example would be a business in which a specific form of licensure or training is required in order to allow the business to continue to operate after the owner’s death. For example, a doctor who owns a small practice would need to designate a special trustee or administrator who holds the requirements needed to continue to run the business after the owner’s death. The duties and compensation associated with that role can be clearly laid out within the proper documents, so that there is no confusion as to how the business should be handled after a death takes place.
Another example might be a valuable gun collection. In order to legally own guns, a license is required. An individual could create a gun trust that is managed by a trustee who holds a gun license and is knowledgeable about the storage, upkeep and value of the guns. It is still possible to pass these items on to designated beneficiaries, but the person chosen to handle the gun trust would be responsible for safely transferring the guns and ensuring that the beneficiaries fully understand the items’ value and proper care.
These are just two areas in which special assets can be addressed within the estate planning process. There are many other types of assets that require a tailored solution. For those in New Jersey who are concerned about how their assets can best be protected and passed on to loved ones after their death, rest assured that there is an estate planning tool to fit virtually every need.
Source: Lake County News, "Estate Planning: Planning for special assets", Dennis Fordham, Aug. 15, 2014