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Estate Planning Archives

The Potential Pitfalls of Giving Away Your Assets

There are many reasons for transferring assets during life. No matter what your reason may be for wanting to transfer your assets, it is my job to consider the relevant factors and possible implications of such transfers. Below are some examples of common transfers made with specific planning objectives that could lead to big problems- especially if you need long term care such as that offered by an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.

Married Same-Sex Couples Can Cash in At Death

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.

Estate planning is essential for New Jersey parents

Virtually every parent in New Jersey wants to see his or her children grow up, and most will get that chance. However, there are no guarantees in life, and estate planning becomes crucial for parents who have minor children. Without any plan in place, family members could spend a significant amount of time and money in court in certain circumstances.

Taxes are not necessarily a goal for estate planning

The simple fact is that many New Jersey couples will never have to worry about federal estate taxes. This is because the federal estate tax exemption is $5.34 million per person, and a marital exemption from estate tax exists. For this reason, many couples' estate planning does not necessarily need to focus on avoiding these taxes.

Avoiding a common estate planning mistake

Many New Jersey residents consult someone knowledgeable in estate planning to draft even a basic estate plan consisting of a will, powers of attorney for health and finances and trusts. However, fewer people consult anyone when they fill out beneficiary designations for accounts such as insurance policies, bank accounts or retirement accounts. These forms are just as important -- and in some cases even more important -- in estate planning as any other document.

Estate planning does not always eliminate confrontations

New Jersey readers may be aware that Casey Kasem -- the voice of "Casey's Top 40," "American Top 40" and Shaggy of "Scooby Doo" -- was recently lying in a hospital bed at the center of a controversy regarding how and when he would die. In May of this year, Kasem's current wife took him from a medical facility in one state and moved him to the home of a friend in another state. Despite his estate planning efforts, his daughter continued to fight in court for her father's wishes to be respected.

The will is the cornerstone of any New Jersey estate plan

Estate planning memorializes the wishes of a New Jersey resident with respect to two primary circumstances -- death and incapacitation. When it comes to preparing an estate plan for the distribution of assets after death, a will typically serves as the cornerstone of that plan. The three important components of a will are to whom property is distributed, who will distribute the property and who will become guardian of a person's minor children, if any.

Minimizing conflict among children with estate planning

Many New Jersey parents are put in an impossible situation when it comes to leaving an inheritance to more than one child. Even if the estate is divided equally, conflicts could result. In order to minimize these conflicts, it may help to begin the estate planning process early.

New Jersey married couples can benefit from estate planning

Many people in New Jersey want to be sure their spouses and children are taken care of when they pass away or if they become incapacitated. Estate planning is the best, easiest way to ensure that happens. How simple or complex an estate plan is depends on each individual's circumstances and the level of control and protection a person desires.

Estate planning does more than limit tax liability

Now that the federal tax exemption is over $5 million per individual, many people believe they no longer need an estate plan. However, limiting tax liability was never the main benefit for many people. Estate planning provides for loved ones the disposition of an individual's property and a guardian for minor children. It also provides for the health and financial well-being of a New Jersey resident in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated.

Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
Representing clients in Ocean City and communities throughout New Jersey.


Rice & Quattrone, PC
1236 Brace Road, Suite F

Phone: 856-673-0048
Fax: 856-673-0052
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Rice & Quattrone, PC
Linwood Professional Plaza
2021 New Road, Unit #9
Linwood, NJ 08221

Phone: 609-398-3447
Fax: 856-673-0052
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