New Jersey residents who are thinking about their estate plan might wonder whether an trust would be a good vehicle for passing assets on to loved ones. A trust may give them greater control over the distribution. For example, certain conditions can control the timing of a receipt of funds by a beneficiary. One of the first things people might consider is whether they would prefer to use a revocable or irrevocable trust.
Most people in New Jersey who want to avoid the probate process for the distribution of their estates after they die know that revocable trusts are a means of doing so. Since the court does not oversee trusts, people might wonder who handles their administration.
New Jersey residents who are worried about their estate wishes being honored after death have several options. First, it may be possible to enter into a formal contract with a spouse to ensure that the terms of a will are not changed.
Estate planning is not only important for New Jersey residents who have a lot of money in the bank. Even people with a minor amount of assets and who have a family should write a basic estate plan so that their assets are distributed correctly after their death. Dying without a will can create a lot of legal and financial problems for a person's family.
New Jersey residents should be aware of the importance of keeping their beneficiary designations up to date and making th right choice. There are a number of assets that are passed on using a beneficiary designation including retirement accounts and life insurance.
New Jersey residents may believe that the benefits of estate planning only really become apparent when a loved one passes away, but documents like powers of attorney and health care directives can be crucially important if a family member is left incapacitated by an illness or injury. Many families learn this lesson the hard way when elderly relatives are stricken with conditions like Alzheimer's disease and are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.
New Jersey residents who are creating an estate plan may want to consider setting up a special needs trust for a disabled child who will need care. With a properly-created and administered special needs trust, eligibility for certain government benefits such as Medicaid and SSI remains unaffected. The trust can pay for many things that are not covered by those benefits including enrichment activities, glasses, caregivers, haircuts and visits to family members.
New Jersey couples who are considering a divorce may have to think beyond their immediate concerns, such as child support or asset division. Many couples also find it beneficial to create property or marital settlement agreements, or PSAs, that include estate terms. Couples are also advised to look into these kinds of remedies as early as possible so that unexpected events, such as death or medical infirmity, don't prevent outstanding issues from being resolved effectively.
One error some New Jersey residents make with their estate plans is believing that inheritances are expressions of love. Taking this approach can lead to familial conflict, and people may be better off talking about their intentions with their family members to find out how they might best pass their assets.
Many New Jersey music lovers were saddened to hear that the legendary songwriter and musician Prince passed away on April 21. The iconic 57-year-old performer won seven Grammy awards in a glittering career that spanned more than four decades, and he left behind a legacy that will likely influence others for many years to come. His estate has been estimted by some to be worth about $300 million.