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.
We may not want to think about it, but we all know it's true. We are -- each and every one of us -- going to die.
Many New Jersey residents use trusts as part of their estate planning. The family home is usually the largest asset many people own, and is often the first item to go into the trust. This and other assets need to be properly placed into the trust in order to be sure that an individual's estate plan is carried out in accordance with his or her wishes.
New Jersey residents often hear that it is a good idea to put their affairs in order to ensure that their wishes are carried out after death. However, once people begin to look into what estate planning entails, they are often overwhelmed by the multitude of documents and choices in front of them. Having at least a rudimentary understanding of the terminology associated with estate planning could make the process less confusing.
A popular assumption is that if people have significant wealth, as many celebrities do, they may spend a great deal of time on their estate plans in order to preserve the wealth for their heirs and beneficiaries. However, celebrities are as human as the next person, and they make estate planning mistakes just like anyone else. Fortunately, many celebrities die with as much publicity as they lived. This means that New Jersey residents are in the unique position of being able to learn from their estate planning errors.
Married couples are not the only people who need to plan for who will receive their assets after death or make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. Regardless of whether a New Jersey resident is single because he or she has never been married or is divorced, an estate plan is just as important for him or her as it is for a married couple. In some ways, it becomes even more important since, without proper planning, state law and/or the courts will make decisions on one's behalf.
It is the beginning of a new year, and that tends to make New Jersey residents sit back and take stock of their lives. For many people, this means either updating or creating an estate plan. One aspect of estate planning that many people tend to forget is what will happen to any digital assets.
You don't have to be part of the New Jersey rich and famous to need an estate plan. In fact, just about anyone in the general population can use an estate plan to help divide assets among beneficiaries when the time comes. The key, though, is to start talking about the process as early as possible.
As 2014 draws to a close, people's thoughts may not only be on the holidays, but also on wrapping up their finances for the year. This is a good time to take stock of any estate-planning arrangements that need to be made. Every adult New Jersey resident needs an estate plan -- especially if he or she has children or property.
Wills, trusts and powers of attorney are the tools that most New Jersey residents think about when it comes to estate planning. However, other tools are available that an individual can use to create an estate plan that meets his or her goals. One of them is a Roth IRA, but the decision to convert to it requires considering several factors.