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November 2012 Archives

Young people should plan their estates, too

People of all ages should properly plan their estates. Many young people believe that they don't have to plan their estate because they don't have many assets or they only have one child and that child will inherit everything. Or, they don't expect anything to happen that they would need an estate plan. Although most people will live long fulfilling lives, sometimes unexpected accidents could result in a death or sudden change for a family.

Not having a will can delay distribution of assets

When a person only has a few relatives, and is on relatively good terms with all of them, they might think that a will isn't necessary. Some people might also think that people don't need wills unless they have a lot of assets to divide or a lot of money in financial accounts and elaborate estate plans. The truth is having a will can help people even if they don't have millions of dollars in the bank.

'Lord of the Rings' author estate sues movie company

The estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien is suing Warner Bros. and its subsidiary New Line for copyright infringement. The estate claims that the movie studio violated an agreement that allows the studio to use the right to the Lord of the Rings to make tangible merchandise. This means they can make things that are physical but doesn't include digital rights, such as an online slot machine which the studio is accused of making.

Giving your home to your children is not always best

Sometimes, people try to give away assets as they age in hopes of lessening the tax burden their loved ones might face after a person passes away. They might give their children money or even sign over their house to their children. This might be able to help them avoid inheritance tax, help with Medicaid purposes and avoid probate. However, there might be other unintended consequences to gifting assets early.

Adult children, parents often disagree on family financial planning

People across the country will soon meet with their families for Thanksgiving. Many people will discuss their latest accomplishments and share with their families what they are thankful for. During their conversations, many will avoid talking about issues pertaining to family financial matters and long-term care for aging parents. These issues can make a family uncomfortable and understandably so.

Creating estate plans for our furry friends

People all over New Jersey are all too familiar with the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Many people were displaced from their homes, and some may never be able to return. Although many people were concerned about the safety of their family members, some were also concerned about the safety of their four-legged friends.

Estate planning is essential for same sex partners

More than two-thirds of all Americans don't have a will. This is something that must change. People often take the approach that what they have will just go to their spouse or their children if they were to die, so a will isn't needed. This might work out alright for some people, but those who are in a same-sex partnership might not have the legal right to marry and although many states are starting to sponsor same-sex marriages and civil unions, these unions aren't recognized on the federal level.

Managing assets through proper trusts can help increase their value

Many people leave their assets to other people or organizations after they pass away. Through proper estate planning, people can increase the value of their assets even after they die. This can sometimes be accomplished by establishing a trust with money or assets that are managed by a person or company. This could help the gift you decide to leave go much further than originally thought.

Improper estate planning might cause some to think they are prepared

People who have an estate plan can give themselves a pat on the back. This is a step that many people don't do throughout their lives. Far too many people end up passing away or are involved in a debilitating accident with little plans in place to prepare their relatives for the future. Some people pass away with no estate plan. While some estate plan is better than nothing, it is important that estate planning is done properly.

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