Revocable trusts play key roles in many New Jersey estate plans. They allow the grantor to direct the distribution of assets in accordance with the trust's instructions without incurring the expenses associated with probate. Indeed, in most cases the trust operates outside of probate, so assets may be transferred more efficiently and with less hassle to heirs.
Having a will is important for all New Jersey adults regardless of whether they have many assets or few. Without a will, the state decides how to distribute the individual's possessions after their death. With a will, a person appoints an executor to administer the estate as well as beneficiaries who will receive the assets. A will may be as simple as a typed document signed by two witnesses, or it might be a complex document prepared with the assistance of attorneys and financial planners.
Traditionally, estate plans were written in order to address taxes, family and charity. With changing tax laws, however, there are more directions in which people may focus with their estate plans.
People in New Jersey may want to think about how they may best help their loved ones with managing their estates after they pass. Good estate planning involves more than simply getting all of the documents drafted and in place. If loved ones are ill equipped to manage the estate, the documents themselves may not be enough.
New Jersey residents who are preparing their estate plans will likely be aware that there are some federal tax implications. For those who have a large amount of assets that will be passed on through a will or trust, more complex planning may be required. Included in this is an understanding of the tax consequences that come with passing on large amounts of money or property. One important aspect of this is the estate and gift tax. A failure to appreciate the effects and limitations of the estate tax could end up costing money that could otherwise be passed on to loved ones.
The probate process can create many inconveniences for the survivors of a loved one. Those with significant assets may look for ways to avoid probate, but those with few assets may equally benefit from planning to avoid it if possible. If real estate is the only asset to consider, this can be handled efficiently.
New Jersey residents who wish to set up a trust to administer their estate after their passing may wish to review some of the common errors made by benefactors. A trust can be a powerful tool for settling an estate, sparing the family the costs of probate and the publicity that comes with it. However, if it is improperly set up or mismanaged, there can be serious consequences to the estate.
Residents across New Jersey were likely saddened by the recent death of famed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. As tragic as his death was, however, it brought many important topics to light. Most recently, it is his will that has sparked some interesting dicussions. Sources suggest that Hoffman's estate plan proved to be inadequate in a few different ways that significantly affected how his assets and wealth will be distributed.