The unexpected death of musician Prince stunned people across the United States and the world. Having sold more than one hundred million albums over his career and having completed many successful concert tours, Prince amassed a fortune estimated at many hundreds of millions of dollars. Considering the size of his estate, the fact that Prince died without a will or trust was surprising to many estate planning professionals.
One thing people in New Jersey can’t control in life is death. It often comes when people least expect it. If that person hasn’t engaged in appropriate estate planning, the surviving family members may be at a disadvantage in handling the estate. If there is not even a simple will, the assets may not be distributed according to the actual wishes of the individual who died.
New Jersey residents who want specific assets to be passed to beneficiaries usually concentrate on providing these designations in a will. However, estate planning also requires a review of the beneficiary designations of other instruments, which may very well override different designations in a will.
New Jersey residents who want to avoid intestacy and want their loved ones to receive a specific portion of their estate may consider creating an estate plan. An estate plan puts the power in these individuals' hands and avoids the state laws regarding who should stand to inherit. However, there are other important aspects of an estate plan beyond a simple will.
For New Jersey residents wanting to preserve their legacy and provide for later generations, an estate plan is a vital tool. While estate planning can involve a multitude of different documents and legal tools, financial professionals make some basic suggestions that can make the entire process less troublesome while putting everyone at ease that a person's wishes will be followed.
It is important to know the disposition of assets upon the death of a financial account holder. In New Jersey, the Multiple Party Deposit Account Act applies to accounts at banks, and the payable-on-death determination takes precedent over the terms in a will. If there is a surviving party on the account title, he or she becomes the only owner of the amounts in the account.
If something were to happen to you, do you know who would get your possessions and money? You may have ideas as to who should receive what, but unless there are specific legal documents in place, your estate will be divided by New Jersey's intestacy laws. This generally means that your property or the money obtained from selling your property will go to your nearest relatives, regardless of whether you want it to or not.
In a recent article written for Forbes, Deborah Jacobs spoke about the topic of who needs estate planning. As she noted, there are a number of people out there who tend to write off the idea of estate planning, thinking that it doesn't apply to them, that it isn't something they need. The truth is that every adult can benefit from some degree of estate planning.
Our Bergen County readers may remember the news which came last July of the death of English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse, who tragically died of alcohol poisoning. According to recently released probate records, Winehouse had about 4.6 million in U.S. dollars to her name, after taxes. Winehouse, it has been revealed, died without a will, and consequently her entire estate will be going to her parents.
A recent article in the Star Ledger took a look at the way marriage and remarriage can quickly complicate an estate. The specific problem the article examined was how stocks and bonds purchased by a woman's first husband are to be distributed after her death and the death of her second husband, where she leaves no will. Do those assets go to the children of the second husband or remain within the woman's family? Good question.