The end of a person's life has been speculated about endlessly in books and songs. Less poetic, perhaps, but necessary after a loved one's life has ended is a familiarity with estate administration.
Virtually everyone in Flemington has an estate. It’s the collection of things that a person owns, including a house, car, stocks, cash, checking and savings accounts, furniture, life insurance, clothing – everything. For some, estates are vast and valuable. For others, estates are more modest.
In our previous post, we wrote about one of the most celebrated actors of our time: Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died at age 46. As you might recall, the Oscar-winning actor was adamant that his three young children, ages 5, 7 and 10, not be “trust fund kids.”
Among the most personal and important decisions a person can make in life is how they want to raise their children. An infinite variety of good parenting techniques, styles and philosophies exist. They are all linked by a parent’s undying love for their kids, however.
Ancient Egyptians used to bury a dead pharaoh with mounds of gold and jewels for the afterlife. Centuries later, the treasures were still sitting there unused. A few things have changed since then, but we still can’t take our wealth with us. Nor can we pack up our liabilities and tote them along.
In this high-tech era, fortunes can be made very rapidly by very young entrepreneurs. Because they’re young and focused on making their businesses succeed, they are often childless and unmarried.
As every carpenter knows, the proper tools enable a person to do a job well. So it is with estate planning.
Just a generation ago, families looked quite a bit different than they do today. The shift in family structures can have a strong impact on how people view their relationships and what goals they may have for financial planning. This can be seen in how estate planning is done these days.
One of the most common misconceptions that people have regarding estate planning is that they do not have any assets that will need to be distributed or settled when they pass away. They may think that because they do not have robust investments, property ownership or children that the system will simply handle the money, debt or assets that a person does have appropriately.
There is a popular saying that "Nothing is certain but death and taxes." There have been many variations of this quote, one of which is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but the phrase has been used for centuries and still seems relevant today; especially when discussing estate taxes.