New Jersey residents interested in estate planning issues may wish to know why their current documents may be obsolete. Because circumstances and law are subject to change, the older documents may no longer have the effect that they once did.
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.
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.
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.
Long after a will has been drafted, the life circumstances of the New Jersey testator may have changed in a dramatic way. People may have gotten married, new children may have been born, the maker may have divorced, a spouse may have died or the maker may have simply reached middle age. A regular review of an existing will may review updates or changes that are needed in order to reflect the maker's estate and beneficiaries correctly.
People who have a living will in place are able to maintain a modicum of control over the medical treatment they are willing to endure in the event they are incapacitated. When a person does not have a living will, decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment use on their behalf will be left in the hands of others.
When a loved one passes away, there is grief and loss to try to grapple with and accept. But like so many times in life when we least want to be bothered with legalities, paperwork and details, the time of mourning also includes those intrusions.
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.
There is frequent mention made as people age to consider what happens after they die. Estate planning can be an important consideration especially if there are assets that will need to be dispersed or cared for after one has passed on. One writer, however, has recently commented on another type of will. This type of document, called an ethical will, may appeal to some New Jersey residents when they are drawing up other wills or trusts.