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Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
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October 2012 Archives

New Jersey estate planning: Learning from the mistakes of others

Even with the best of intentions, New Jersey residents can sometimes make estate planning mistakes that may later hurt their families. Celebrities also make these same kinds of mistakes, but with much more dire consequences because of the amount of wealth that they hold often. These estate planning errors could serve as a cautionary tale for others who may be in the beginning stages of estate planning.

Out-of-date inheritance issues not limited to the rich and famous

Many individuals fail to engage in estate planning so those who do should be commended. But the process should not end when those documents are signed. Regardless of whether New Jersey law applies or that of another state, events may occur in a family that requires an update to an estate plan. The recent death of Whitney Houston and its effect on the inheritance of her only child is an example.

Alleged heirs take estate of Sherman Hemsley to the cleaners

Will contests are not unusual after the death of a loved one. Heirs omitted from the will want to be included and those named in the will may think they are not getting their fair share. But it is rare in New Jersey or anywhere for the body of the deceased to be frozen in limbo until the will contests are resolved. But this is the case with the estate of actor Sherman Hemsley, best known as George Jefferson in the seventies' sitcom The Jeffersons.

Planning gifts to give heirs can maximize the value for grandchildren

As the economy continues to create financial struggles among families, the pressure on New Jersey grandparents to help not just their children but also their grandchildren continues to grow. However, the ways that grandparents choose to help can make a huge difference in their own future financial stability. In the worst case scenario, excessive or poorly planned gifts made to children or grandchildren can end up costing the grandparents and their heirs thousands or more in estate and gift taxes.