We talk a lot about how wills and trusts are essential tools of comprehensive estate planning that New Jersey residents can and should use. Among the benefits of having a will drawn up by an experienced estate planning attorney is the assurance that your assets will be distributed to heirs the way you want. Establishing trusts can ensure an income stream for yourself later in life, or help ensure that more of your assets are protected for the benefit of loved ones.
Readers of this blog are well aware of our position on the importance of proper estate planning. Regardless of what you think you may have in the way of an estate, the best way for a New Jersey resident to make sure heirs receive the benefits of accumulated assets according to your wishes is by having a solid plan in place.
What's the harm if there is a small mistake in your estate planning documents? People are smart - they will figure out what you meant, right?
Amid the clamor generated by daily information resources folks in New Jersey may have missed the fact that April 16 was National Healthcare Decisions Day. It was the fifth annual. Its intent, according to the NHDD website, is to "inspire, educate and empower the public" about the importance of advanced directives regarding personal care. We can identify with that.
It is estimated that one in eight baby boomers will develop some form of dementia, such as Alzheimer's, after they turn 65. That's according to the Alzheimer's Association. The group estimates that of those boomers who reach 85, half will develop the debilitating effects. With statistics like that is it any wonder why estate planning attorneys in New Jersey and elsewhere work so hard to deliver the message that the time to plan is now?
Entertainment icons have a way of maintaining their earning potential long after they're gone. Estate planning attorneys in New Jersey and the rest of the country know this and are in a position to help individuals develop strategies that can allow their estate to generate revenue into the future or minimize estate taxes so more assets go to heirs.
A man who said he found his bliss in asking tough questions in a quest for what he considered great television is dead. Mike Wallace died in a convalescent home Saturday. He was 93. His legacy is one that has been captured in audio and video recordings for posterity. Considering his more than 70-year career, Wallace is likely to stand out as a journalism legend for several generations of people in New Jersey and the rest of the country.
Here in New Jersey, we levy both an estate and an inheritance tax when a person dies and leaves money over a certain amount behind to someone else. If that strikes you as a little unfair because it taxes both the estate and the beneficiary, you're not alone in that line of thinking. One estate planning professional even included New Jersey on her list of "Where Not To Die" because the tax penalties can be so high if you are not careful.
According to some estimates the number of people in America without the benefit of a living will is somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million. That's about a third of the entire population. If the same percentage applies to New Jersey, the number of folks who lack a living will would come in at around three million.
According to one estimate, set by an AARP survey in 2009, more than 42 million Americans provide family care for an adult family member who needs help with every day activities. Another 61 million provide some level of care to an elder family member at least some time during any given year. New Jersey residents are not immune. For many, it is a role that is thrust upon them without warning.