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December 2012 Archives

Estate planning is essential when you are in a second marriage

With the rise in second marriages, estate planning can become more difficult if you have children from previous marriages and your current marriage. Agreeing that an estate plan is needed is the first step in making sure that your wishes are met after you are gone.

Estate planning is essential for everyone

Estate plans aren't just for the rich and famous and if history proves that not having a good estate plan is essential, then we probably have not been paying attention. Most people avoid estate planning because they don't want to think about their mortality, but in reality, we all will die someday.

Man stashes gold coins: unexpected inheritance given to sole heir

A man in another state had a secret investment. It wasn't listed in his will, and since he only had one cousin alive, it is unlikely that the woman knew she was about to inherit a fortune. The man had been stashing gold coins of many different values in his home. The total value of the coins is approximately $7.4 million, a surprising value to not be included in documentation.

Including others in a will or estate plan, in addition to family

We will all experience the death of a loved one at some point in our lifetimes. It can be a very sad time, and a time to remember the person's legacy. This might include inheriting assets from that loved one. Many times family members leave assets to family members through their estate plan and in many cases, parents leave things evenly to their children. However, leaving assets only to family and dividing everything equally isn't always what a person wishes to do with their assets upon their death.

Guardianship and trusts can go hand-in-hand

So, you've just decided to start a family. This can be one of the most exciting times for a person or couple. Whether a family is started through giving birth or through adoption, parents should help ensure their children are protected should anything happen to their parents. While the beginning of a family can be a hectic time, with changing diapers and getting very little sleep, it is important that parents take time as soon as possible to arrange a will and provide guardianship for the child.

Starting an estate planning conversation can be difficult

People across the country put off estate planning. Although most people realize that an unexpected event could happen, and their life or the life of a person's family could be drastically changed. Even though people understand the fragility of life, they often are afraid to talk with their family about planning their estate.

Can you pass your religious beliefs on to your heirs? Part 2

In this two-part post, we are discussing how New Jersey residents can leave spiritual legacies through estate planning. Arguably, the best way for those with deeply-held religious beliefs to pass on their faith to their heirs would be to impart those values while they are alive. That could involve, for example, providing education for your children and grandchildren, or taking part in family discussions concerning religious and moral values.

Can you pass your religious beliefs on to your heirs? Part 1

People of faith in New Jersey may have raised their children with the expectation that they would continue to uphold the family beliefs as they grow, leave home and marry. They may have provided religious education for their children and grandchildren, initiated family dialog about values, and lived as an example of their religious beliefs.

Powers of attorney are not all the same

People across the country might use powers of attorney for many different reasons. These can be valuable ways for people to have their wishes honored if they are unable to make decisions for themselves. A power of attorney can be important to help people make medical decisions for their loved ones if they are incapacitated.

Wills and trusts: which is the right one to have?

Many people might get a will when they start a family. This is an important step in making sure assets are divided according to a person's wishes and ensuring guardianship is properly established for minor children if both parents pass away at the same time. It is important for people to make sure they review their will and estate planning documents periodically. Sometimes people just put their wills in a safe, and don't touch them for years. After a major life change, a will may need to be revised to bring wishes up to date.

Estate planning to leave a legacy

Many people hope to leave a legacy for their community or their loved ones. Some people have dreams of having their names etched in stone at a local park, and others have more personal family legacies they hope to leave behind. A legacy can be whatever you make it, and estate planning can help support that legacy.

There are different trusts for different reasons

People may hear the word trust, and not truly understand that this legal document can have many different uses and different types. One type of trust is called a revocable living trust. This trust can help a person with their estate planning needs for a few different reasons. Unlike wills, trusts avoid probate court. While many people think that all of their estate will have to be divided through probate, a will can maintain privacy for the family and reduce costs associated with probate. Probate is a procedure that could allow the estate to become public record.

Singles can have estate planning needs

People who just graduated from high school or college often aren't thinking about the end of their life. For them, they are young and ready to start their careers or head off to further their education. Although most people will live a long and health life, sometimes accidents do occur. When a person is hospitalized and unable to make decisions for themselves, it is important that they can trust a family member to make those decisions for them. While many young people don't think they will ever end up in the hospital, a car accident or other event could change their lives.

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Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
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