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.
Review Your Will While on Coronavirus Lockdown
When life is operating normally, we usually find ourselves with too little time to handle some of the less urgent matters that we face. Many of us tend to procrastinate, believing there will be plenty of time in the future to address those issues.
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 Should Executors Disclose to Beneficiaries?
Executors undertake many duties while assuring the proper division of assets according to the wishes of the deceased. The responsibilities must be performed in accordance with the laws of the state in which the testator resided.
If the person had died without a will, the court would identify an administrator to manage the estate with the same responsibilities as a named executor.
Are there any properties not distributed under a Will?
Estate planning is the process of identifying how and to whom your assets should be distributed after your death. The process, best managed with the advice and guidance of an experienced estate lawyer, means creating a strategy to distribute your wealth as you wish without confusion, contention (hopefully), or an unnecessary tax burden on any of the recipients.
Some assets may pass to your beneficiaries through your will, but some can transfer ownership by way of a specific beneficiary designation or co-ownership.
What is a common disaster clause, and should I include it in my will?
Your will should cover any contingency. As we know, none of us can predict the future and events having the minimal likelihood of occurring do happen.
Since most couples designate each other as their primary beneficiary should one die, the estate of a deceased spouse usually passes automatically to the survivor.
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:
Can Wills Written in New Jersey Affect How Property in Other States Are Sold?
When a loved one dies, the division of most assets among beneficiaries can be a straightforward process, mainly when a well-prepared will is in place. However, if the deceased happened to be the sole owner of real estate in another state, liquidation of the property may become a bit more complicated.
In these instances, an additional process known as ancillary probate may be required before the property can be sold.