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August 2012 Archives

Estate planning isn't always set in stone

Set it and forget it, right? Wrong. Estate planning is something that requires upkeep. Many people might think that they can get a will and their estate planning needs will be met for their lifetime. That might be true for a very select few people. More than likely, people will require revisions or totally new estate planning documents throughout their life. As people go through life, certain events can make their previous estate planning documents not useful or not in line with their actual wishes.

9 month estate planning deadlines might seem tight after losing spouse in New Jersey

Most people choose not to think of worst case scenarios. Losing a spouse unexpectedly is a devastating event, and most people will never have to experience this. However, the unexpected can happen, and it is important to be prepared. While planning for a "what if" situation is the best idea, sometimes a spouse might die and a couple might not have an estate plan in place. This might leave the surviving spouse wondering what happens next.

Trusts can be used to gift money with a purpose

Many people have dreams of seeing where their ancestors were born and where their cultural and heritage roots began. A new trend is starting to emerge that utilizes estate planning to help family accomplish those goals. More people are leaving trusts for their beneficiaries with specific instructions on how they can spend the money that was left to them. Many of the instructions are now including travel.

Beneficiary designations matter in New Jersey estate planning

Many people might not think about their various financial accounts when discussing their estate planning needs. These accounts often ask people for beneficiary designations when you sign up for them. This would be who money or assets from those accounts would go to if a person was to pass away. Sometimes people don't update their beneficiaries and hope that a will or other estate planning device can cover the person's assets. This can be a costly mistake depending on the person's state of mind.

Estate planning may benefit heirs with gifting

Many people across the country might receive an inheritance from someone in their family. While it might be a ways down the road, it is never too early for those expecting to leave an inheritance to start their planning. Unless Congress extends a current tax break by the end of the year, many people have the opportunity to leave a gift to their heirs with no tax, as long as it is done by the year end. These types of tax breaks don't come often, and utilizing the time to provide an inheritance to a family member might be beneficial.

Estate planning helps plan for the unexpected

Many people might not realize, there is a science to how long a person is expected to live. While you may have heard of a life expectancy of those who live in a certain country, many people don't realize that insurance companies often calculate how long they expect certain people to live. The calculations many insurance companies use allows them to calculate the risk in providing insurance to certain people. Now many websites are offered that allow you to plug in basic information and you get a rough life expectancy.

Living wills help plan end-of-life care

Most people don't die in their homes. That's according to federal statistics that show only 25 percent of people die at home. Because so few people die at home, it is important that health care facilities and family members understand how a person would like the end-of-life care handled. While it is often a topic that few people want to discuss, the statistics show that it is necessary.

Digital estates should be considered with traditional planning

Owning more digital devices than ever before, many people are utilizing digital assets to manage their money, store their family pictures and communicate. These digital assets, being actual physical assets as well as virtual assets, all have a value to someone. This value is something many people often forget to assess when thinking about estate planning. By including these assets in an estate plan, a person can ensure an easier transition of digital assets.

Living wills can help families make tough decisions

While it is something no family likes to think of, preparing for a tragic accident even if it never happens can help provide peace of mind should the unthinkable take place. A living will can help families that might be faced with what to do after a loved one is involved in a life altering accident. Even though each family member likely loves their relatives all the same, they can often have very different ideas of what a very sick or injured loved one might want done regarding medical care.

Talking about estate planning can be a delicate subject

Sometimes people don't like to talk about estate planning. It can be unpleasant to discuss not being around for your family and friends. While many people will live long, productive lives, it is never too late to start working on an estate plan. Estate planning can help those who are near the end of their lives gain peace of mind that their wishes will be honored, but it can also help people who are seemingly healthy plan for the unexpected.

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680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
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