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.
Many New Jersey residents will spend a portion of their lives living abroad. Known as expats, Americans who live outside of the country for extended periods of time have a number of unusual legal needs. Creating a solid asset protection plan is an example, and individuals and families must take care to ensure that their wishes are properly documented prior to setting out on an extended trip abroad.
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.
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.
Organization and periodic review are two topics that should always be associated with the creation and maintenance of a proper estate plan. Without these two practices, it is all too easy for the wishes of a New Jersey resident to fall by the wayside. Over the course of a lifetime, many individuals will obtain a wide variety of assets, including various insurance policies. Ensuring that the beneficiaries for those assets are up-to-date is an essential aspect of good estate planning. Absent such measures, the division of one's estate can be left in the hands of a probate court.
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.
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.
Many New Jersey residents consider their pets as members of the family and would go to great lengths to ensure that they are happy and healthy. However, many fail to consider what would happen to their beloved animals in the event of the owner's death. Including pets within one's estate planning is an attainable goal and is also an incredible gift that pet owners can give their furry family members.
Many New Jersey residents have a long history of giving their time and money to various charities. It comes as no surprise that those same individuals would like to include their favorite charitable organizations within their estate planning. There are also a number of tax benefits that can accompany charitable giving, many of which yield benefits during the life of the giver. Understanding the various options is important when determining how to work charity into one's greater estate plan.
The creation of a comprehensive estate plan is in effect a gift that an individual gives to his or her loved ones. By carefully structuring the means by which assets will be distributed after one's death, a great deal of stress and turmoil can be reduced for those left behind. However, there are certain areas of estate planning that offer a challenge to New Jersey residents. Addressing the risk of divorce is a prime example.