Welcome to our new Blog!
I hope to answer your estate planning questions in simple, non-legal terms.
Did you know that statistics indicate 63 percent of Americans do not have a Will?
That’s a problem if you have assets, as absent a valid Will the State of New Jersey County Surrogate Court will distribute your assets under NJ State law. In my experience, clients are not happy with this option.
Recently, I had a call from some good clients asking me if it was time to revise their estate plans after many years had passed.
Wills, Powers of Attorney for financial matters, and Living Wills/Advance Health Directives most often are updated every time there is a substantial life change, or if the laws change. These changes include such things as:
- Tax laws have radically changed, Medicaid laws have changed, and a review can save considerable money as federal estate tax exemptions mean your Will can often be simplified. Income tax rates increased, and benefits and costs of Medicare and Medicaid are substantially changed, so collectively, the old plans may not suit your needs under the new laws.
- Divorce/Remarriage can void not only the Will provisions, but complicate beneficiary designations for IRAs, 401ks, and life insurance policies.
- Emancipation of children: Do your old guardianship provisions need updating?
- Do you have financial or health changes in the family?
- Do you seek to reduce NJ’s heavy estate and inheritance tax burden on your family, the highest in the nation?
- Have you considered a Trust to provide for children’s or grandchildren’s college funds, disabled family members, or protecting heirs?
- Do you wish to explore charitable gifting?
I like to stress that an estate plan is really an exciting time to discuss creating the life plan you deserve, and your hopes and dreams should be part of the conversation.
If you need help with your estate planning, reach out to me at 973-285-3322.
The above information should not be taken as legal advice. You must contact an attorney.