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.
Many New Jersey residents have seen media coverage of the generous gift that former basketball coach Dean Smith left for the players he worked with over the years. Smith, who is widely considered one of college basketball's most beloved coaches, used a revocable trust within his estate planning strategy to gift $200 to 180 of the young men who passed through his program. Not only is his generosity to be applauded, but the method through which he structured his estate also deserves admiration.
Many New Jersey residents have a long history of giving their time and money to various charities. It comes as no surprise that those same individuals would like to include their favorite charitable organizations within their estate planning. There are also a number of tax benefits that can accompany charitable giving, many of which yield benefits during the life of the giver. Understanding the various options is important when determining how to work charity into one's greater estate plan.
Many in New Jersey recognize the need to create a viable estate plan to handle the ultimate disposition of their assets. Often, however, we fail to recognize the full extent of those assets, and leave certain holdings unprotected. The advancement of technology is one area in which this subject becomes very relevant. Many of us hold digital assets, and fail to include these holdings within our traditional estate planning documents.
When planning an estate, most people automatically think of the very rich since the exemption for an estate tax is more than $5 million. However, an estate tax is not the only issue involved in estate planning. Most people, no matter their social status, need to make up a will through the use of either a lawyer or a financial adviser. However, the middle-class individual could also benefit from other areas of estate planning.