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Home » Estate Planning » When estate planning, structure matters

It is impossible to prepare for the future completely. No one knows what curveballs will be thrown their way. One of the only things people can be sure of is that they will not live forever. Estate planning allows New Jersey residents the opportunity to prepare for the inevitable and make sure that those they care about are taken care of. Here are four different structures that people tend to consider when putting their estate plans together.

Structure number one: Everybody equal. Quite a few people go this route. This is where all assets are equally divided among the designated beneficiaries. Most would think equally divided is akin to evenly divided. The truth is, asset division ends up being about what is fair, not necessarily what is equal.

Structure number two: Need. Who needs one’s assets? Some people have family members or friends who need some financial assistance more than other loved ones or close acquaintances. It is possible to designate these individuals as one’s beneficiaries to ensure assets go to them.

Structure number three: Equal opportunity. This is where assets are distributed in a way to ensure beneficiaries are given similar opportunity. For example, if a parent paid for one child to attend college but not the other, he or she can make up for it by granting a more significant share of his or her assets to the financially unassisted child.

Structure number four: Give to those who gave. This is where one might choose to bequeath assets to the child, friend or other family members who gave of their time and other resources to offer assistance while one was alive. For example, if a person has three children and only one of them chose to take an active part in caring for an aging or ailing parent, the individual who stepped up and took on the task may be granted more assets than his or her siblings.

Estate planning structure matters. It is something that requires a lot of care and thought. It also requires that the wording in the estate plan documents are clear and precise in order to ensure one’s wishes are carried out. New Jersey residents can turn to an experienced attorney who can assist them in creating estate plans that truly fit their asset distribution goals.