Many New Jersey residents know that their family members may end up arguing about their inheritance. Even if each inheritance is equal in value, those who are receiving them may not think so. One way to limit -- or eliminate -- those rivalries, is by being open about estate planning.
These days, many New Jersey residents have active online lives. Facebook pages, iTunes accounts and other online accounts require some estate planning in order to be dealt with accurately after a person's death. Without some advance planning, surviving family members could encounter considerable issues trying to identify and deal with a deceased person's digital assets.
New Jersey fans of the television show "The Sopranos" may have already heard that James Gandolfini passed away recently. Now that his family has to settle his estate, it has come to light that Gandolfini's estate plan may not have been well thought out. His family is going to have to pay nearly $30 million in inheritance tax.
Many adult children in New Jersey may realize that if their parents die owning a home, it is possible there will be a mortgage on that home. How the home and mortgage are dealt with after death should be a topic of discussion when the parents are doing their estate planning. There are several ways that the home can be passed on after death.
There are stories in the news and shows on television that feature people who buy something at an estate sale or thrift shop for a few dollars, only to discover that the item is worth a large sum of money. Situations like this often occur because family members give away or sell items from a relative's estate without being aware of their potential worth. New Jersey residents may avoid this type of situation by having their belongings appraised prior to completing their estate planning.
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.
Heirs of those who died are often stuck with hefty estate taxes. Those in New Jersey and other states may benefit from considering how to use estate planning to better manage their retirement wealth. Properly envisioning an estate may ensure that heirs will pay little or no federal taxes on their inheritance. Whether it's a large estate or an average one, estate planning can go a long ways toward limiting unnecessary taxes and expenses.
When New Jersey consumers work with an attorney to plan an estate, they must think about the future as well as any unforeseen events. It can sometimes feel like a "what-if" strategic game. That said, it is important to plan for the unknown and when that occurs to feel comfortable with what we are leaving behind for our loved ones.