Keeping Your Assets in Your Bloodline
Without proper estate planning, your assets can easily end up in the pockets of unintended recipients.
For example, you may be planning to leave your entire estate to a daughter who happens to be married to someone whom you may not care for or trust. Simply naming your offspring as the sole beneficiary does not keep the money out of the hands of that spouse. Once assets pass to your daughter, she may deposit the assets into accounts held jointly with her spouse, which is, of course, her prerogative.
The Secure Act: What You Should Know
In January 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the SECURE Act. The legislation is intended to give Americans more flexibility with their retirement and estate planning.
Also known as the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act, the SECURE Act provides several measures designed to help taxpayers, retirees, and others.
While some legislators and their staff obviously spent an excessive amount of time creating the acronym “SECURE,” the law does offer several valuable benefits.
New Jersey Gifting Explained
While the State of New Jersey does not levy an Estate and Gift Tax, lifetime gifts of significant value do have IRS reporting requirements that givers should note. Note that the tax treatment of gifts is often confusing and can affect the giver’s tax liability. A donee or recipient of the gift does not pay income tax on the money received.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having more than one executor?
During the estate planning process, some individuals choose to name more than one executor to ensure their final wishes and distribution of their assets are satisfied.
The usual reason for designating co-executors is to spare the feelings of other offspring. If an individual has two children, for example, naming only one the executor of the estate might be perceived as favoritism or preference.
How Important is a Letter of Last Instructions?
While your Will is the critical element of your estate plan, a Letter of Last Instructions can be of vital assistance to your executor and beneficiaries. Your Will offers the “big picture” instructions on how your estate should be distributed and managed after you are gone. Your Letter of Last Instructions, on the other hand, should provide more detail about:
What are the Options for Splitting Assets in Blended Families?
The blending of families to create a yours, mine, and ours scenario is very common. In the ideal, the union of two individuals with offspring from prior relationships remains harmonious and uncomplicated even after the passing of each parent. In the best instances, each spouse treats the other’s children as their own, and family bonds strengthen.