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Phone: 201-345-3018

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Estate Planning Archives

Even a simple estate plan should address digital assets

When many New Jersey residents consider their estate planning needs, they focus on traditional types of assets. We think about retirement savings, investments, cash and property. Few people take the time to consider how less tangible assets, such as those that exist in the digital realm, should be factored into the process. However, in today's technological world, even a simple estate plan should address digital wealth.

Has your estate planning approach passed its expiration date?

For those in New Jersey who completed their estate plans many years ago, a sense of security is often present. These individuals and families know that they have taken the steps needed to ensure that their accumulated wealth will pass on to their chosen heirs as intended. It is important to note, however, that many legal changes have taken place over the years, making it important for individuals to conduct periodic estate planning "check-ups" to ensure that their needs are still being adequately met.

Estate planning for singles: A different approach

For many in New Jersey, the main focus of planning one's estate is to ensure that loved ones receive the inheritance that is planned for them, without incurring heavy taxation and outside of the probate process. For those residents who are unmarried and do not have children, estate planning may be structured around a different focus. Many forget that an important function of estate planning can have an impact while an individual is still alive.

Estate planning options for private collections

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.

Estate planning can protect assets from being squandered

One of the most difficult topics for a New Jersey family to address is how to create an estate plan that allows assets to pass to children without allowing those children to squander their inheritance. For one, tackling this matter requires parents to acknowledge that their child or children are not currently able to make solid financial decisions, and may not possess those skills for some time to come. When considering how to best provide for children without allowing them to squander their inheritance, there are several estate planning options to weigh.

Addressing disparity within estate planning

Within many New Jersey families, a level of rivalry exists among siblings. This is a normal and healthy set of circumstances between brothers and sisters, and is often channeled into positive level of competition and banter between family members. When it comes to estate planning, however, sibling rivalry can take on a much more contentious form. For those who plan to leave disparate inheritances to their children, it is absolutely essential to discuss the matter far in advance.

Include a financial inventory with estate planning documents

Many New Jersey residents experience a sense of relief when their estate planning documents have been drafted and signed. Having this important financial step completed can bring about a feeling of comfort in the knowledge that these matters have been properly addressed. However, there is one addition to the estate planning process that is often overlooked. Including a financial inventory can be a great help to the individual(s) tasked with administering the estate.

Dean Smith's generous estate planning choice

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.

Seek cohesion within estate planning efforts

When planning for the distribution of one's assets upon death, many New Jersey residents make the mistake of taking a piecemeal approach to the matter. They may draft a will in which they outline how they would like their assets to pass to the designated heirs, which is an important step within estate planning. However, there may be a range of assets that have named beneficiaries, such as bank accounts, investment accounts, life insurance and more. In addition, many individuals name their children or others as joint owners on certain assets, such as their home. This approach can lead to a wide range of problems.

Estate planning is a marathon, not a sprint

When many New Jersey residents complete their estate planning packages, they feel overwhelming senses of relief at having handled such an important task. Often, they then place those documents into safes or file cabinets and move on to other projects. It is important to realize that estate planning is not a one-time event, and a properly structured estate plan must be revisited from time to time. In other words, simply having these documents in hand is not sufficient to ensure that one's wishes are followed when the time comes.