When a New Jersey resident remarries, he or she will take on a new set of family relationships. It is not uncommon for married couples to have a blend of stepchildren and shared children, as well as any number of connections to extended family members. This can create a unique set of estate planning needs, and it is important to understand what can occur if a comprehensive plan is not put into place.
The bulk of estate planning efforts are rightfully focused on passing down accumulated wealth to one's chosen heirs. For many in New Jersey, a different type of relationship is often overlooked when considering these matters. Pet owners very often forget to create a plan for the care of their beloved animals, which can leave a favorite dog or cat in serious trouble if the owner passes away. Fortunately, it is possible to create a simple estate plan addition that can help ensure that pets are cared for in the event of the owner's death.
While it is never a good idea to make sweeping generalizations about groups of people, there are often important lessons to be learned by the choices made by others. When it comes to estate planning, there seem to be certain mistakes that older people make when considering their needs, some of which can lead to negative outcomes. The following examples are errors that a person of any age can make, but that can be particularly prevalent among older New Jersey residents.
Many New Jersey residents spend a significant amount of time refining their estate plan to ensure that their assets are distributed to their chosen heirs. Once that process is complete, a sense of relief often follows. It is important to understand, however, that even the most thorough estate planning package is worthless if one's heirs are unable to access the proper documents when the time comes.
When it comes to planning one's estate, each and every New Jersey resident has a specific set of needs. While there are many estate planning solutions that work for virtually everyone, there are other tools available that can customize the outcome based on an individual's goals and challenges. For example, many women have very specific needs and require a different estate planning approach than their husbands.
With several landmark cases set to go before the Supreme Court, the nation is poised for a change in the manner in which same-sex marriage is handled in every state. At the same time, debate on the matter continues to rage, and the battles surrounding the legitimacy of these unions remain at play. Until the matter is ultimately resolved, many same-sex couples in New Jersey are taking an overly cautious approach to their financial and estate planning needs.
Some New Jersey residents are unaware that simply having a will in place does not provide comprehensive estate planning coverage. Accounts that have designated beneficiaries fall outside the scope of a will, and the provisions laid out within those account documents will supercede those within a last will and testament. Understanding the power of beneficiary designations can give individuals a degree of flexibility when it comes to estate planning.
Most New Jersey residents are aware of the need to create a comprehensive estate plan well in advance of actually needing those documents. That said, very few families take the time to sit down with their adult children and discuss the details of that plan, which can make it hard for children to set the plan into motion when the time comes. While no one wants to have a lengthy discussion about his or her own demise, talking to your kids about your estate planning choices is part of the overall process.
For many in New Jersey, the primary focus of their estate plans is to ensure that their families are taken care of in the event of their deaths. For married couples, the person best-suited to carry out one's wishes is usually the spouse. By centering estate planning around the person one trusts the most, a favorable outcome is not only possible, but likely.
For many in New Jersey, the act of creating a comprehensive estate plan brings about a sense of relief in knowing that these matters have been addressed. With the right degree of effort, estate planning strategies can work wonders in ensuring that one's wishes are followed when the time comes. It is important for individuals to understand, however, that simply creating a will is not a catch-all solution. Many assets can still pass to others upon one's death if the proper precautions are not taken.