Estate Planning Archives

The importance of timely estate planning

New Jersey residents can't predict when they may find themselves incapacitated. If they do, how their affairs are carried out depends on how their estate plan was created. If the plan has a power of attorney, whoever was granted that power has the authority to manage the principal's affairs. It is important to point out that it must be signed by the principal while he or she is of sound mind.

How proactive estate planning may benefit anyone at any age

A common misconception people have is that estate planning is for wealthy individuals with many assets. Some people in New Jersey also believe that estate planning is meant to be done later in life. While it's true that a tax filing isn't required unless assets and previous taxable gifts exceed $5.6 million, there are many potential benefits associated with being proactive about estate planning at any age.

Estate planning and caregiving

A New Jersey resident who is creating an estate plan might think primarily of putting together a strategy that will pass assets on to loved ones. However, making a plan that covers potential incapacitation is another important aspect of estate planning. Many seniors end up needing a caregiver at some point, and around one-third of people eventually need long-term care.

Build for the future with a legacy plan

Legacy planning involves much more than assigning beneficiaries for money and other assets after death. Although legacy planning is often used interchangeably with estate planning, the two are different. Estate planning is something New Jersey residents do when they want to ease tax burdens and allocate assets. Legacy planning is done to continue a life's work after the estate holder has died.

The importance of reviewing estate plans when getting divorced

After people in New Jersey have completed their estate plans, it is important that they review them regularly. It is especially important for people to review and change their estate plans when they decide to get divorced so that they don't accidentally leave their estates to their ex-spouses when they die.

Estate planning for couples without children

Some New Jersey couples might think that if they do not have children, they do not need an estate plan. However, estate plans are not just for passing on wealth to the next generation. They can also help protect people and allow them to decide what becomes of their assets after their death.

What to know about powers of attorney

New Jersey residents should never be pressured into signing a power of attorney document. In fact, it may be a sign of fraud for another person to pressure someone to take that step. As a general rule, those who aren't ready to delegate financial duties to another person in the event they are mentally incapacitated should step away and reconsider the situation.

Why special needs trusts are important

Parents in New Jersey and elsewhere will ideally create an estate plan that takes into account the needs of their children. Doing so may be more important if a child has special physical, mental or emotional needs. This is because a properly crafted plan may allow a child to receive assets without jeopardizing their ability to receive government benefits if necessary.

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Lanza & Lanza LLP
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