One of the primary purposes of an estate plan is to create a body of documents and vehicles to smoothly transfer wealth from one party to others after death. The concept is a simple one, but the construction of an estate planning package can be complex. One of the first and foremost matters that must be handled by New Jersey clients involves selecting one's beneficiaries.
For many older people, concern over the possibility of dementia is a serious matter. Anyone who has cared for a loved one who suffers from dementia understands the difficulties involved. When a fully capable adult begins to lose his or her ability to function independently, the entire family is affected. Many in New Jersey look for ways to address this risk within their estate planning package, especially in regard to IRA savings.
As the holidays come to a close, many New Jersey families are wondering if they gave their loved ones the best possible gifts, and if those gifts will be put to use in the coming year. One present that many may not have considered is the gift of estate planning services. While it may seem like an odd thing for one family member to give to another, this set of advance planning tools is a present that can be incredibly powerful and effective.
Most people in New Jersey are aware that there are rules in place that govern how much estate tax can be charged on assets handed down after an individual's death. Some know that the current amount lies at $5.43 million, and they will go to great lengths to create estate planning packages that minimize their taxable estates. Anything above that amount is subject to estate tax, which currently sits at 40 percent. The amount of the estate tax exclusion is adjusted for inflation, and it will increase to $5.45 million in 2016.
When creating an estate plan, there are a number of errors that individuals can make. Some of these mistakes are minor, while others can have a significant impact on the division of wealth following one's death. The biggest mistake of all, however, lies in the failure to create any type estate planning package. Failure to act can make a loss all the more difficult for New Jersey residents who survive a loved one.
Quite a few New Jersey families make use of various types of trusts in their estate planning approach. Trusts can be powerful estate planning tools for preserving wealth and passing down an inheritance to loved ones. There are a number of aspects of trusts that many fail to recognize, however, which can lead to a scenario in which these tools are not used to their highest potential.
Many in New Jersey tend to avoid topics that involve discussions about their own mortality. However, with regard to certain legal issues, such as wills and estate planning, it is typically advisable to not only talk about such matters but to take necessary steps toward crafting a thorough plan that documents one's intentions insofar an asset distribution, inheritance and/or medical directives are concerned. Executing such documents while one is still of sound mind can help loved ones avoid complications further down the line.
It is not uncommon for loved ones in New Jersey to have to scramble around, guessing where a deceased spouse, parent or sibling stored important information. Upon the death of a loved one, there is vital information that needs to be accessible promptly. This may include a will or testament, personal preferences about end-of-life arrangements and other matters related to estate planning.
When most people think about digital assets, they consider the sentimental value of those items. This includes family photos that are stored online, blog entries and social media postings. While many New Jersey family members would love to have access to those memories, there is another side of estate planning that concerns digital assets that hold significant monetary value.
New Jersey residents have a number of tasks to address while creating an estate plan. One of the aspects of estate planning that is often overlooked involves life insurance and the role that this coverage plays in providing for loved ones who are left behind. While not every family will need life insurance coverage, it is a good fit for any family in which the income of one or more parties is needed to maintain the current standard of living.