One of the most common objections that New Jersey attorneys hear in regard to creating an estate plan involves the belief that an individual or family with only a moderate or modest level of wealth has no need to create such a plan. This, however, is far from true. Viewed from a different perspective, those with less modest financial holdings have an even greater need to protect those assets at the time of their death. Avoiding probate is key to preserving assets, and having more to pass on to loved ones.
Most New Jersey residents are aware that there is a need to address estate planning at an early age. However, quite a few hold common misconceptions about the process or individual aspects of estate planning. The following are just a few issues that are commonly misunderstood, and which can lead to serious consequences if not properly addressed.
Many New Jersey readers are likely familiar with the life and artistic work of singer and guitarist Lou Reed. Once the frontman for The Velvet Underground, Reed had a long and prolific musical career that amassed a significant fortune. His death in 2013 and his questionable estate-planning choices have opened up the musician’s financial affairs for the world to see. Hopefully, a glimpse into the estate as it moves through probate will teach others of the importance of creating a solid estate plan, no matter what their level of personal wealth.
One thing people in New Jersey can’t control in life is death. It often comes when people least expect it. If that person hasn’t engaged in appropriate estate planning, the surviving family members may be at a disadvantage in handling the estate. If there is not even a simple will, the assets may not be distributed according to the actual wishes of the individual who died.
People usually like to spend their day thinking about enjoyable things, such as eating, doing fun activities or spending time with family. Pondering subjects such as taxes, incapacity and death is not preferred typically, which is why some people in New Jersey may avoid estate planning. However, having a strong estate plan is essential for taking care of a number of important issues, including what will become of any assets.
Many of the men and women in New Jersey who serve within the American armed forces are young, healthy and have the bulk of their lives still ahead of them. Servicemembers are often focused on their duties to their country, and can overlook many of their personal needs. In regard to estate planning, many within the military neglect to address this important issue, feeling that such tasks are for a later time in life. In reality, however, it is never too early to begin estate planning.
Many individuals in new Jersey take the necessary steps before they die to create a comprehensive estate plan, which can include a will. A will simply dictates how one's assets are distributed among family members, friends and others. A will is created by most people in the hopes of eliminating future fighting over sentimental and financial assets. Unfortunately, even when a will is in place, fighting can still occur and loved ones will have to go through the complex probate process.
When life is busy, people tend to focus on simply making it through each day. Thinking about the future even five or 10 years from now may seem overwhelming, and thinking about what would happen in the event of one's death may seem too morbid. However, if people fail to make the necessary preparations through estate planning while they are alive, their families are the ones who may end up suffering in New Jersey.
When considering their estate planning needs, many people who do not have significant financial holdings assume that they have no need for many of the tools offered within the estate planning process. It is true that individuals with a low net worth can avoid probate without the use of a will, doing so can be tricky, and can lead to a range of difficulties. In addition, there are other estate planning practices that should be put into place no matter how much money a New Jersey resident has amassed at the time of their death.
After a court proceeding, a court has agreed to partially seal some of the details of billionaire Harold Simmons' complex estate plan. The family has requested that the judge seal his entire will from the public, claiming that the complex estate plan could bring unwanted pressure to beneficiaries. New Jersey readers may know that Harold Simmons is a businessman who accumulated massive wealth and properties during his life.