It is common to find people going into estate planning with very little knowledge into the affair. Creating a good estate plan requires proper considerations of certain things that may determine how your estate plan should be drawn.
So here are some important things to keep in mind before going into estate planning.
Hiring an estate planning attorney
One essential thing you need to know is that estate planning is a legal matter; one better left in the hands of a lawyer. Since estate laws vary across states, there is need to hire an estate planning lawyer in your locality or county. If you live in New Jersey area code 07652, hire the estate planning lawyer 07652 (NJ). He is enlightened in the estate laws of New Jersey, and will work with you in planning your estate in a way that is most beneficial to you.
Estate planning can help avoid some unfortunate outcomes
Everybody requires basic estate planning no matter how limited one’s assets are. For example, an individual without close family might be involved in a car crash, leaving him incapacitated. If he or she lacks a medical power of attorney, then who would make medical decisions on their behalf? Assuming both parents die in an accident and their kids are left without a will, then the fate of the kids is left in the hands of the court. The assets in a blended family may not be distributed according to the desires of a spouse if they fail to specify in their estate plan how these assets should be distributed. Kids from a former marriage may not get anything at all. All these can be prevented with a good estate plan.
Probate is a legal court process. When a person dies leaving an estate, probate will commence in a Surrogate Court in the locality where the estate is owned. During probate, the last will left by the deceased will be validated, and if found to violate any of the requirements for writing a will, the deceased is said to have died intestate; that is, without a valid will. In this case, the property will be distributed not according to the wishes of the deceased, but according to state laws. Only the closest biological survivors will inherit from the estate, even when this is not exactly what the deceased intended.
You must name an executor in your will that would initiate probate and walk it through. Probate can be very expensive, time-consuming and complex, and is something to be avoided if you do not want such trauma for your loved ones. To avoid probate, you can transfer your assets into a living trust before your death. A trust, although more expensive and difficult to create than a will, offers huge benefits by allowing you to transfer wealth easily outside probate. The estate planning lawyer 07652 can help you create a New Jersey trust.
In planning your estate, you should consider taxes imposed on your estate, and how to avoid them. As of 2020, the federal estate tax exemption is $11.58, meaning any estate valuing above this value will be subject to federal estate tax. If this applies to you, then you would need to discuss with your estate lawyer on how to avoid these taxes.
Planning for minors
In the event a couple dies at the same time possibly from an accident, their kids below 18 would have to be taken care of by someone. If not, all assets left for them may be squandered unwisely. As much as you hope not to pass away leaving your kids in such a situation, you should also plan for Guardianship should something as bad as that happens. After all, death can visit at any time. Assets would be placed in a trust, and used by the Guardian for the benefit of the minors until they come of age.
In creating your estate plan, you should consider who deserves what. State clearly what amount goes to whom, so as to avoid discrepancies and strife among your loved ones. Your business should be passed to competent hands, and not just to any child who may end up ruining the business. If an asset, such as an insurance policy, already has a beneficiary designation, then it would pass to that beneficiary outside the will. If you wish to change the beneficiary, you can always do so before you pass away.
Consult the estate planning lawyer
After considering these things, it becomes imperative to use certain estate planning tools such as a will, trust, living will, living trust, life insurance, tax planning amongst others. As a New Jersey resident, contact the estate planning lawyer to help you in selecting and establishing the necessary documents. Feel free to contact him now.