When a person dies, everything in his or her estate must be distributed according to the wishes left in the will. Unfortunately, even when a person writes a will, that does not always ensure that everything will go smoothly during the estate administration process.
Whether you are getting married or are thinking about sitting down with an estate planning tool, there are a few estate planning documents couples throughout Kearny should consider using. Although many people regard prenuptial agreements as a tool for the rich and famous, they are a great estate planning tool for many couples.
Bachelors and bachelorettes throughout New Jersey might be quick to talk about the benefits of their single lives. They have half as much laundry, total control of the TV remote, and they don't need to justify their spending habits with anyone.
There is a saying that two things in life are inevitable - death and taxes. Perhaps the most upsetting part of that is when the two are combined. In nearly half of the United States - including New Jersey - you or your estate is taxed when you die.
You may remember in 2007 when the "Queen of Mean" Leona Helmsley died and used her estate plan to leave her dog $12 million. The incident drew a great deal of media attention, in part because Helmsely cut some of her relatives out of the will in order to spoil her dog. The judge eventually reduced the amount to $2 million, and some of the remaining $10 million was awarded to her grandchildren.
In our last post, we talked about the importance of making sure the beneficiary forms for your financial products align with your will. Even if you think you have carefully protected all of your loved ones by naming them in your will, if the individuals who are named as beneficiaries on your IRA or life insurance do not match that, you could unintentionally disinherit someone.
Good estate planning is typically more complex than just signing a will. Although a will can effectively designate how you would like your assets divided, it may not be enough. If you have bank accounts, retirement savings or investment accounts, they can drastically change how your assets are distributed.
For residents in New Jersey, estate planning has a new twist with the last minute passage of the Tax Relief Act of 2010. The law brought back estate and gift taxes, including lower rates and higher exemption amounts. These new provisions are short-term and apply to gifts made by the living and taxes paid on estates after death.