In virtually any significant social matter, the mistakes of others can present an opportunity to those who are willing to learn from those errors. Such is the case with celebrity estate planning missteps, which are often widely reported in the media. New Jersey residents who follow these matters can learn a great deal about how not to construct their own estate plans, and can use that knowledge to avoid a similar outcome.
When New Jersey residents go through the process of planning their eventual estate, it is important to remember that these directives can only be put into place if the guiding documentation is available to those who need to take action in the matter. Simply creating these estate planning documents and then stuffing them into a file box is not the best course of action. Individuals must take the proper steps to ensure that their wishes can be carried out in the manner of their choosing.
As many in New Jersey consider how to pass on their wealth to loved ones, the issue of responsibility often arises. Parents and grandparents want to create an estate planning package that allows their heirs to access an inheritance, but also want to ensure that those funds are used in a responsible manner. This can pose a challenge, one that is best met by the careful creation of one or more trusts.
For the majority of New Jersey residents, the primary focus of their estate planning involves how to pass on their assets to children and grandchildren. However, there are many couples who do not have children, and their estate planning needs are somewhat different. It is easy to assume that a childless couple has less need for a comprehensive estate plan, but this is simply not true. Even when there are no direct descendents in place, individuals still need to create a roadmap for how their assets will be handled in the event of their death.
Most New Jersey residents are aware of the benefits of establishing one or more trusts. These flexible estate planning tools can help individuals protect assets from excessive taxation and can give families the ability to bypass probate. However, in order to access the full potential of any given trust, it is important to follow some simple guidelines.
Many New Jersey residents have amassed impressive collections. Some focus on more traditional items, such as stamps or coins, while others favor collections of a more esoteric nature. In fact, some collections are so unique as to lead others to wonder why anyone would choose to hunt for such unusual items. When considering how to pass these collections on to loved ones, individuals have a number of estate planning options.
The do-it-yourself lifestyle is alive and well here in New Jersey. An increasing number of people are interested in learning how to remodel homes, plant gardens or learn a variety of other valuable skills that will benefit themselves, their families and their pocketbooks. While taking time to do a project by oneself can certainly grant a sense of accomplishment and save money in the long-run, there are some things where seeking professional assistance would be advisable. Estate planning is one such area.
Some families are fortunate enough to have bought a vacation home, and can share that property with those they hold dearest. When the time comes to create an estate plan, some in New Jersey are unsure how to address their vacation home within the scope of their estate planning tools. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to handle a second or vacation home, which means that there is a solution available for virtually every scenario.
Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about the need to create and maintain a thoughtful drafted estate plan. That said, the reality is that many in New Jersey and across the nation will not address this important need, and their heirs will be forced to go through the probate process. A recent article written for estate planning attorneys puts an unusual spin on this reality, one that is disheartening for many families but also has the power to motivate some to make a change.
When many New Jersey residents consider estate planning, it is a topic that they believe is geared toward those who are nearing their retirement years. Younger people often fail to recognize the need to create a solid plan that can be used in the event of their passing. This, however, is an error in judgment, one that could cost a family a great deal of time, money and stress in the event that an untimely death should occur. Estate planning is not only relevant for individuals in their 30s and 40s, it is imperative.