Preparing a living trust can help New Jersey residents ensure their property is passed on to the appropriate beneficiaries when the time comes. However, a trust is only good if it is funded, which some people fail to do. When this happens, an estate becomes subject to the probate process, and absent a last will and testament, the state may have to decide how and to whom one's assets are divided. Creating a pour-over will when going through trust-based estate planning can help ensure assets make it into the right hands.
Too few New Jersey residents have estate plans in place. Of those who do, some may not have them stored adequately so that they do their loved ones any good. Estate planning does not just involve planning for one's assets, loved ones and self-protection; it includes planning for proper document storage as well.
Too few New Jersey residents have taken the time to go through the estate planning process. Some believe it is not necessary, while others think about it but just never get around to it. Having some sort of plan in place is better than nothing, but how in-depth does that plan need to be and what should it include -- a will or trust, for example?
Many parents in New Jersey want to make sure their estates pass to their children in equal portions. The problem is, many of them try to make it work out without going through the proper estate planning process. This may result in one's estate being divided in a way that one did not intend, and could even cause one's beneficiaries to endure probate litigation.
Many New Jersey residents have retirement accounts of some sort, through work or personal choice. On these accounts, they likely have beneficiaries designated so that, when they eventually pass on, someone they know and/or love will benefit from their willingness to save. Recipients have a few options when inheriting such funds. Thanks to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act, those options are likely about to change, which means estate planning for such accounts will likely need to change.
Every year, numerous women in New Jersey, and even a few men, are diagnosed with breast cancer. When such a diagnosis is received, staying positive and looking ahead to the future is a must -- though, understandably, difficult. The last thing anyone wants to do when faced with a severe illness is think about putting one's affairs in order. Estate planning may not be at the top of one's priority list, but it is not something one should put off entirely. It is possible to remain positive about one's prognosis and make sure personal protections are put in place in the event they are needed.
Alzheimer's is a disease that is affecting more people in New Jersey each year. It can be slow or fast to progress. It can be devastating to the victim of the disease and even more so to his or her loved ones. Due to the nature of Alzheimer's, advanced planning is critical to ensure one's wants and wishes are known and carried out before and after death.
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.
Protecting digital assets is something this column has addressed in previous posts. Making sure digital assets are protected matters. Making sure that loved ones have the right to access digital assets also matters. When estate planning, New Jersey residents would be wise to consider naming a digital guardian. If this step is not taken, one's beneficiaries may not be legally allowed to access specific online accounts.
Putting together a solid plan for one's estate is something that no New Jersey resident should delay. There is a lot that goes into estate planning. One small part of it is making sure assets are left to the person or persons of one's choice. Something many people fail to consider, though, is how their heirs will actually handle their inheritance once they receive it.