Estate and inheritance taxes have been in the news lately, both in New Jersey and nationwide. In a recent, highly partisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives recently called for the complete repeal of the federal estate trinax. Here, estate and inheritance taxes were a hot topic dug budget negotiations. Some lawmakers would consider expanding the tax to fill up the neglected Transportation Trust Fund. Others argue for limiting their application to fewer people.
To marry, or not to marry? While the obvious answer can usually be found in one's heart, many couples also look to the pros and cons of marriage- in terms of things like healthcare benefits, retirement benefits and tax implications. Until recently, however, many of these benefits to marriage did not apply to same-sex couples in New Jersey- even though several states (currently 19) already recognized their marriage as valid.
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.
Most everyone in New Jersey has all kinds of digital accounts. When people are doing their estate planning, some tend to forget that they need to provide for what will happen to that digital life. This can range from online bank accounts to a Facebook account and everything in between.
People in New Jersey and across the nation have likely heard much on the news recently about the new federal tax laws passed by Congress in January. The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) is considered to be good news for those who are in the process of estate planning. According to the Tax Policy Center, an estimated 3,800 estates nationwide are large enough to owe any federal estate tax this year, which means that most of the U.S. population will not be affected by estate taxes.
When people draft an estate plan, they are typically thinking about how to provide for spouses, children and grandchildren after their passing. However, it is possible to go a step further and include provisions in estate planning that can benefit many generations for years to come. New Jersey residents who wish to leave a lasting legacy may want to take a closer look at dynasty planning, which often includes having an irrevocable trust.
As many New Jersey residents are aware, Congress recently passed the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), which permanently enforces estate tax rules. This means that many individuals with estates worth over $5.25 million, particularly if they run a family business, may want to focus on a new estate planning strategy in order to sidestep a sizable estate tax. Many can still take advantage of the methods previously used to reduce or avoid estate taxes.
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.
When New Jersey business owners plan their estates, they may wish to leave both their business and non-business assets to all of their children. However, this can present a challenge if not all of the children are involved in the business. It may be difficult to leave an equitable inheritance without a lot of resentment and confusion, but it is possible with the proper planning.
Most people who are in the process of estate planning try to anticipate any problems that may arise as the estate is being settled. However, even the most thorough estate plans may leave some unresolved issues that can make things difficult for a grieving family. New Jersey residents may do well to double check their estate planning details to ensure that some common problems can be avoided.