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Estate planning is about more than taxes

Many New Jersey residents are aware that avoiding estate and inheritance taxes is one of the reasons that people create an estate plan. However, there are other -- and some would say more important -- considerations in estate planning. What an individual believes his or her family members will do with their inheritance could shape the decisions made.

What an individual knows about the members of his or her family could affect how any assets are passed. For example, one child may be ambitious and have a good head on his or her shoulders, while another child may have difficulties that make a parent believe that an inheritance may be squandered if left directly to the child. Nearly every parent wants to help his or her children through life, and finding a way that any assets left to a child will best serve him or her could become a priority.

Of course, reducing or eliminating the amount of estate taxes that may be due is part of the equation, but how an inheritance will be left could be more based on the personality of an heir. When creating an estate plan to accommodate all of the relevant factors, it is not surprising that the individual's belief system, experience and values will play a central part. Another factor is what kind of legacy a person wants to leave and for how long.

With the right estate planning, all of a New Jersey resident's goals can be met. There are numerous options available to meet a person's goals when it comes to providing for family well after his or her death. The documents that make up an estate plan are versatile and can often be tailored to any family dynamic. 

Source: Forbes, "Estate Planning Fears That Keeps Us Up At Night", John E.Girouard, Oct. 29, 2014

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