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Making A Meaningful Gift to Your Child’s College Savings Fund

December 18, 2017

Filed under: College Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Passing things on to future generations is a common concern for many people interested in protecting their loved ones, but for a meaningful gift this holiday season, you might choose to establish an estate plan or contribute to a child’s 529 college savings accountplan for college education

When you are thinking about the future of your loved ones, it’s always helpful to have an estate planning attorney at your side.

Doing so with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney can help you pass on a gift that helps your loved one in the future to pursue his or her educational dreams. Education is the cornerstone of planning ahead for minor children and your thoughtful care to put together an estate planning tool that protects your loved one’s right to pursue education without having to worry about the burden of costs, can have positive impacts for generations to come.

Education is often very important to numerous family members and the selection of a 529 College Savings Plan or other estate planning tools that can allow your loved one to pursue education without fear of the high costs is a very valuable gift and one that will be treasured for years to come. Furthermore, college savings plans may offer you numerous estate and gift tax benefits. Consulting with a lawyer can tell you more about how this can affect you.

Top End of Life Documents You May Need

December 14, 2017

Filed under: Elder Law — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Most people already know that their last will and testament is the cornerstone of their financial and estate plan. However, many consumers don’t have this critical document in place. A 2014 American Journal of Preventive Medicine study found that up to three-quarters of Americans don’t even have a health care proxy, an advanced directive or a living will. plan ahead for end of life care

That’s in addition to only 42% of the population having a will. A well thought out will is one of the most important preparations to put in place as you age, but there are other estate planning and end of life documents that should be considered.

Your unique situation will determine which of these strategies and tools is most important for you and sitting down with an estate planning lawyer is one way to identify what will work for you as well as what you need to protect your best interests. These documents include:

  •      A living will
  •      Health care proxy or power of attorney for health care
  •      DNR – DNI orders
  •      Durable power of attorney
  •      Organ donor designation
  •      Diminishing capacity letters
  •      Life insurance
  •      Digital assets memorandum
  •      Personal property memorandum
  •      Relevant information collection

Make sure that when you spend all of the time to put together necessary documents to protect your assets and to articulate your end of life wishes, that you provide information for your loved ones or at least your attorney to access this. In a heat of the moment and in the midst of a crisis, it can be challenging for your loved ones to figure out where you have stored such information, but an experienced attorney can be one method for protecting your interests and your rights.  

 

Elder Fraud on The Rise-Up To $36 Billion

December 13, 2017

Filed under: Elder Safety — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A recent study found that three out of ten state securities regulators have seen an increase in elder fraud complaints and cases. Many people are under the impression that it is only cognitively affected older individuals who are at risk for financial scams. However, one out of every 18 cognitively intact elderly people can fall prey to financial abuse or fraud in a given study. avoid elder scams

One 2015 report estimated that more than $36 billion is lost every single year to financial abuse and scams. That problem is increasing and older adults who are experiencing a decline in their cognitive abilities are only a part of the overall story. The population that is currently retiring is one of the wealthiest in recent history, in terms of their retirement savings and criminals know this and will target these elderly individuals to exploit them.

Seniors can also be more vulnerable. This makes it especially important to have assets protected with an asset protection plan and an estate plan. These tools should be updated at least on an annual basis to reflect any changes in your life. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can help you avoid many of the most common financial scams and abuse and to figure out a long terms strategy to protect the assets you have worked so hard to build.

If you are concerned about an elderly loved one who may be subject to financial scam and abuse, working with an estate planning attorney to protect those assets inside a trust can help your loved have peace of mind that they will have the funds they need to get through retirement and old age without a high chance of scams.

Do You Have to Update Estate Planning Documents When You Move?

December 12, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people looking ahead to retirement are at least considering moving to another state, if only to be closer to family, maximize their retirement dollars or enjoy better weather. But you need to remember that when you establish estate planning documents in one state, the rules of another state could influence how they are managed. when you move, meet with an estate planning lawyer

Contracts are usually managed the same way and are usually consider effective in any state. One type of contract that this applies to is a living trust. A living trust is one in which you generate, create and control the trust and enter into an agreement with a trustee, who manages those assets for you on behalf of the beneficiary.

Then the beneficiary would receive those trust assets, how and when you choose. Typically, a trust is portable throughout the entire United States and you can identify which state laws you’d like to govern your trust. You can move to another state and not have to change your trust. However, your other estate planning documents like your will, your health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney may need to be updated when you move to a new state.

The drafting of estate plans can be accomplished by consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney as you move to a new state. Bring a copy of all of your relevant estate planning documents and strategies to discuss whether or not these are portable or whether they will be interpreted differently in your new state of residence.

Your home state documents may not offer all of the options that are available in your new residential state and the only way to figure out what is going to work best for you is to schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney who can walk you through what is required as well as involved.

Proper Buckets for Your Retirement Planning & Estate Planning

December 11, 2017

Filed under: Asset Protection — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

The composition of your retirement portfolio affects your ability to support your lifestyle after you retire as well as what you can give away to loved ones.

Many financial managers have recently found that retirees’ assets are in pre-tax accounts, also known as qualified plans. However, this has an additional consequence when it’s time to make withdrawals to cover your living expenses. You would need to pull out additional funds to cover the tax bill that comes with it. have a complex retirement strategy

Using a bucket strategy when planning for retirement can help to address this problem. A short-term bucket that has up to five years of retirement needs should be tapped without a major taxable event.

The second bucket should be filled with long-term fixed-income assets and after-tax equity. This bucket could be very important for generating taxable events, given the appreciation of assets. However, if the principle is all after tax dollars, this burden is reduced. The third bucket should be filled with 401(k), pre-tax retirement accounts, and traditional IRA accounts.

These are all subject to RMD rules that begin at age 70 and half and the distributions are taxed at ordinary income rates. The ratio of assets in your third and second buckets is determined by whether or not you have already saved enough to achieve your lifestyle goals in retirement. If you have more resources than you expect to need for your retirement goals, the pre-tax assets might be higher and you should consult directly with an experienced estate planning lawyer to talk about how you will pass on these assets to your loved ones in the future.

Hugh Hefner’s Unique Estate Planning Strategy

December 7, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Trust arrangements established by the Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner, may enable his third wife to receive income without technically inheriting anything from the estate. He left behind a major estate valued at more than $40 million and that doesn’t even include the $100 million sale of his Playboy mansion that happened last August. His fortune was left behind to his children, charities and the University of California Film School. In the 1970s, the estate was estimated at upwards of $200 million. put together a trust with a NJ lawyer

The 31-year-old third wife of Hugh Hefner won’t inherit anything from the estate due to a prenuptial agreement that was signed in advance of their marriage in 2012. However, news reports indicate that she will be “looked after”.

He may have used a Q-tip trust in order to accomplish this. He may have also used life insurance in an irrevocable trust. Not enough information is yet known about the estate planning tools that Hefner may have used to pass on things more effectively, but even those who are not uber rich or owners of a $100 million home can benefit from the estate planning services provided by a knowledgeable lawyer.

 

Don’t Make this Trust Mistake

December 6, 2017

Filed under: Trusts — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Establishing a trust in conjunction with the development of your will is frequently the cornerstone of a person’s estate plan. However, you shouldn’t think that your work is done after you’ve created the trust. This is a crucial first step that should be completed with the guidance of an estate planning attorney but many people forget to fund their revocable trust, which in essence means it doesn’t serve a purpose. No trust can exist unless it also holds assets. avoid this trust mistake

When you put together a revocable trust, you will need to retitle your accounts in the name of the trust and a brokerage firm or financial planner can help you with this. Additional estate planning strategies may be recommended based on your individual needs. An annual review scheduled directly with an estate planning attorney may be necessary to figure out whether or not your current estate planning documents and tools are working as you need them to work.

Many people experience major changes in their life such as the birth of a child, marriage and divorce. All these issues can alter your existing estate plan and therefore, a lawyer should be used to review them in full. Do not hesitate to get help from an experienced estate planning attorney who has years of working directly with people to not only establish trusts but to properly fund them so that they are valid. A regular review with an estate planning lawyer can save you and your loved ones.

Make Sure Your Retirement Planning Includes the Costs of Long Term Care

December 5, 2017

Filed under: Baby Boomer Generation — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

You might be relatively healthy now and assume that this will continue for many years. But considering that plenty of research shows that most people entering retirement will need long term care assistance at some point in their life, you should never neglect the possible health care costs of long-term care in your retirement plan. plan for retirement

The most expensive long-term care options, a nursing home, can cost up to $97,000 per year. Many Americans have a blind spot when it comes to retirement planning because they do not incorporate long-term care at all.  Many underestimate the costs of health care planning and assume that their health insurance will cover it but Medicare is extremely limited as far as the coverage provided to those individuals in nursing homes and Medicaid can be difficult to qualify for if you do have access. This means you might be required to spend through your assets or to self-fund your long-term care until Medicaid kicks in.

The U.S. government has conducted research showing that up to 70% of people aged 65 will receive some type of long-term care during their lives. This could add up to nearly $150,000 in long-term care costs over the lifetime of an elderly person, according to research released by a 2007 Bipartisan Policy Center report. Up to two-thirds of Americans aged 40 and older admit that they have done no planning for their long-term care needs, according to research shared by the Associated Press NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Your retirement planning should always incorporate long-term care needs. Schedule a consultation directly with an experienced attorney today.

Entering Retirement with Significant Debt May Affect Your Estate Plans

December 4, 2017

Filed under: Baby Boomer Generation — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A recent study completed by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that older individuals today are more likely to enter retirement with debt than compared with previous decades.  debt and retirement planning in NJ

The number of older people taking on mortgages, for example, has increased significantly when compared with previous age cohorts. Massive debt generated by American households has been featured in plenty of different academic studies but very little has been done to determine how senior citizens are affected by debt or the volume debt they accumulate close to retirement.

The study was analyzing financial vulnerability and older individuals’ debt by comparing information collected by the National Financial Capability Study and the Health and Retirement Study. Planning ahead for your assets and ensuring that your debts as they decrease are incorporated into your estate plan is extremely important.

It is also crucial to consider how indebtedness in retirement years may affect your ability to pay for your own care such as long-term care support and other medical needs that you may develop over the course of your retirement. Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney about these issues and ensuring that your retirement plan, estate plan and long-term care plan are all working together can make for a better retirement for you.

Common Retirement Issues You May Not Be Planning For

November 30, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

It can be overwhelming to think about retirement and estate planning. However, these are crucial processes that should be considered by any adult. Many people put off the process every time in estate planning because they assume they will have time to make up for it in the future. plan for your future finances and retirement

However, a sudden issue or disability can illustrate to you just how important it is to engage in these estate planning and retirement planning issues. Be aware of these common challenges that many people face but neglect to think about. They include:

  •      Inflation
  •      Taxes
  •      Estate planning
  •      Long term care

The reality is that many people underestimate the risks that they will face both in retirement and towards the end of their life. For this reason, they neglect taking part in the planning process and can make it more difficult for them when they approach that age and realize they have not set enough aside. By thinking about the potential risks and the steps that you’ll take to guard against them now, you can get the peace of mind that if something happens to you, your family members will not be disadvantaged.

What Makes IRAs Different from Other Types of Inherited Assets?

November 29, 2017

Filed under: IRA — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Passing on an IRA is different from stipulating another piece of property in your estate planning materials like a will to pass on to someone else if something happens to you. IRAs are managed differently and there are a complex set of regulations involved in this process. IRAs and retirement planning

There are a few different ways that IRAs may surprise you in terms of how they are classified and how they impact your beneficiaries. These include:

  •       IRA beneficiaries may be eligible for particular tax breaks that are often missed.
  •       IRAs are distributed in a different manner than any other asset, both after death and during life.
  •       IRAs cannot be jointly owned or change ownership during the life of a person who manages it.
  •       An IRA may require a unique and separate estate plan.
  •       The investment gains inside an IRA do not always have to be subject to the 3.8% investment income surtax.
  •       An IRA passes on to someone else by contract rather than by a will.

Depending on the estate in question, the IRAs could be subjected to double tax at death; an estate tax and an income tax.

The deductions available to IRA beneficiaries are easy to overlook because it requires the coordination of tax planning between the settling the estate and the IRA beneficiary. It is valuable for both of these entities to work together to identify tax saving opportunities. The distributions from an inherited IRA could be taxable to the beneficiary. However, it is a good idea to explore tax planning opportunities well in advance to avoid this situation, if possible.

What You Need to Know About Updating Transfer on Death Deeds

November 28, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

One common question that people present to their estate planning attorney is whether or not they can revoke or change the transfer on death deed in the future. This is one of the major benefits associated with the ToD deed because it can be changed at the later date, as it is not irrevocable. This is because the grantor has not transferred any interests in the real estate or given up any rights, so they maintain the eligibility to change it at any time. transfer on death deeds

Remember that the action putting together a transfer on death deed basically adds a beneficiary to real estate. It is quite similar to the process of naming a payable on death beneficiary to your bank account. There is no actual interest in the real estate created, rather an expectation has been created. In order for a transfer on death deed to be effective and legally valid, it has to be recorded and put with the county recorder’s office directly. This also means that another item will have to be filed with the recorder’s office if the grantor changes his or her mind.

This change typically comes in format of a new ToD deed. This is one of the downsides of using a ToD deed because it is not that simple to update. If you change your mind about a provision for payable on death beneficiaries on your savings account, you can visit the bank and be helped by a customer service representative. In order to change a transfer on death deed, however, you will most likely need to hire an attorney to ensure that it is filed properly. This can give you a great deal of peace of mind that the details have been managed effectively, but it can also create an additional obstacle or layer of frustration if you do need to update it.

Three Key Things Your Retirement Plan Should Include

November 27, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

When putting together a retirement plan, it’s common to focus on how much your income you tend to generate before and during retirement and while this is an important detail, it’s not the only issue you’ll need to review carefully. You need to also incorporate tax planning, health care planning, and legacy planning. hire a NJ estate planning lawyer to make sure your estate and retirement plan work together

Tax planning is important because if you’re handing over too much of your income to the federal government, you’ll minimize what you can accomplish during retirement. Talking through options with a financial advisor is helpful and may allow you to get pointed in the right direction years in advance of retirement. Your next step should involve health care planning. Health care expenses are a crucial issue for many Americans but they are even more important for retirees.

Medical issues typically keep climbing and getting more expensive over time. Long term care is the most expensive and the biggest issue that most retirees may face and many of the costs associated with it will not be covered by Medicare. Having a plan including long term care insurance well in advance can assist you with navigating the complexities of these issues. Finally, if you have a family, there is a good chance that you intend to leave something behind for them after you pass away.

There are many different ways to structure an estate plan and different tools that you can use but all should be put together with the experience of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. Understanding the various options available to you and the most appropriate way to pass on those assets is important. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer today.

A Married Couple? You Still Need a Power of Attorney

November 23, 2017

Filed under: Power of Attorney — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people fall for the impression that your estate planning starts and ends with your will because it is one of the most important and basic estate planning tools. However, incapacity can occur anytime, whether you are involved in a car accident or suddenly develop an illness. If you are in a debilitated state for an extended period of time, you may wish to name somebody else to handle your affairs during this time period. power of attorney lawyer

It is important that you have the proper documentation to ensure that your spouse can take action quickly. Bills need to be paid and decisions may need to be made immediately regarding your care when you are in the hospital.

Simply stipulating that your spouse knows what you want is not enough because the hospital staff nor the law understands the distinction. Families would benefit from having an advanced directive for health care and the financial power of attorney in place well in advance of when they are needed.

Trying to create these documents after an incident has already happened can generate unique legal concerns that can further add complications to an already stressful situation. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney in New Jersey is the best way to identify all of the tools and strategies that could be used to help you and your loved ones.

 

Four Tips to Remember in The Process of Business Succession Planning

November 22, 2017

Filed under: Business Succession Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Whether it’s a family owned business or a company that you have purchased, you need to be prepared for the process of succession planning shortly after you buy it. It might seem counter-intuitive to think so far into the future when you have only just obtained the company.

However, there are four critical steps that you need to articulate now. The truth is that no one can really predict exactly when they will exit the business. It may be your concept that you will exit when you are near retirement and may pass it on to a future generation. However, if you don’t have any children or other family members who are interested in stepping in or if a sudden disability raises questions about succession much earlier, you will need to be prepared by having had a conversation with a business succession planning lawyer. hire a business succession lawyer for your company

Articulating the crucial agreements and documents in place well in advance gives you options. The four major tips that can enable you with the process of business succession planning include:

  •       Starting early, because too many business owners put these important decisions off until the last minute and this does not account for the unpredictability of life.
  •       Choose a successor. You need to evaluate whether the person you choose to step into your shoes is interested and willing to do so.
  •       Establish value. Make sure you establish the value for your share of the business or the business overall by consulting with a business appraiser or a CPA.
  •       Use a formalized working agreement. A working agreement can make a business transfer much simpler and the succession process should be clarified so that it can be activated immediately in the event of a sudden decision to exit the company.

Transamerica Study Shows Five Biggest Retirement Fears for Americans

November 21, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A recent study completed by Transamerica identified that even though retirement can be an exciting time, it is also one that provokes anxiety and fear among those reaching age 65 and beyond. 

Many Americans are concerned that retirement will not live up to their expectations or that they won’t have enough assets set aside to protect themselves. Appropriate estate and advance planning is important when it comes to retirement savings. What follows are the five most commonly referenced issues in the Transamerica study:

  •       Outliving investments and savings
  •       Not having access to enough social security benefits
  •       Long term care expenses that are unpredictable
  •       Cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease
  •       Lack of affordable and adequate healthcare

Most people are under the impression that Medicare will assist them in the event that they have an incapacitating event. While this is true to an extent, more serious problems like cognitive decline or long-term care concerns will likely not be covered by Medicare and you should have a plan in place to protect you with those. This is one of the biggest reasons that Americans are concerned with outliving the money they have set aside for retirement. Financial support can come from many different places but advanced planning is required for all of them. Scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney today can help you see how tax planning, charitable giving, estate planning and long-term care planning can all work together to give you a more powerful future.

New Estate Tax and Gift Tax Thresholds Released for 2018

November 20, 2017

Filed under: Gift Taxes — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Every year the IRS evaluates inflation information to determine whether or not the gift and estate tax thresholds need to be boosted. The estate tax refers to the amount of money a person can have in their estate without triggering federal estate taxes and the gift tax refers to the maximum amount of money you can give to somebody else without tax implications every single year. hire an estate planning lawyer to help with gifting

Both of these were recently boosted for 2018. Estate taxes will be assessed on a single person’s estate if it is valued at $5.6 million or more, allowing married couples to only have to pay estate taxes if together they have an estate worth $11.2 million or more. This allows you to shield a great deal of money from estate tax liability.

Gift tax liability has been boosted to $15,000 per year, an increase from $14,000 that it has sat at since 2013. It is important to remember that you are not prohibited from giving gifts greater than $15,000 to someone. It will simply require the creation and submission of a gift tax return. In any of these situations, you may wish to use other strategies to pass on assets to your loved ones. Making use of the gift tax is one such strategy that can be extremely powerful when used properly. Schedule a call today with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.

Tips for Avoiding a Power of Attorney Dispute in The Estate Planning Stage

November 16, 2017

Filed under: Power of Attorney — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Drafting a power of attorney is a process often engaged in by someone who wants to protect themselves and potentially their finances or health care decisions if they were to suddenly become incapacitated and unable to make them on their own. However, many power of attorney disputes can occur because someone may argue that you were under undue influence at the time or that you did not have the appropriate mental capacity to make this decision to begin with. estate planning for family

As a result, an increasing number of people who are putting together power of attorney documents are doing so after being evaluated by their general physician or mental health professional. While this might seem silly to include what is essentially an argument testifying to the proof of your mental capacity at the time, this can help to minimize the chances of power of attorney disputes, if and when it becomes time to activate the power of attorney document.

It can be difficult to share your decision-making process with loved ones who are ultimately not selected as your power of attorney agent, yet this too can help to minimize conflicts when you explain how you arrived at your decision and which person is enabled to make these crucial choices or act on your behalf if you become unable to do so. In the event that you become incapacitated due to an accident or a disability, you will want someone to be able to step in quickly to render these decisions on your behalf.

Avoiding conflict can make things easier for your family members in an already difficult situation. Consult with an experienced New Jersey estate planning lawyer to learn more about protecting your interests.

Is My Will a Shield Against Probate?

November 15, 2017

Filed under: Wills — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are so many different myths out there surrounding the process of estate planning that it is often too late after someone realizes that a mistake has been made. You may have experienced a loved one who has passed away and left inadequate estate planning instructions. These can be catastrophic and extremely difficult emotionally for family members to handle in the wake of grief. planning with a will

For this reason, you need to engage in the process of estate planning early and update your estate plan on a regular basis. One common mistake that people make is thinking of their will as their only tool and shield against probate. Many people are under the impression that if they have a will that they do not need to go through the court system or probate.

Revocable living trusts are a tool that enable you to avoid probate; however, the revocable trust is not effective unless your assets are retitled into the trust name. If you hold the assets in your name alone without a beneficiary designation then the assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of your will.

Before any assets can be collected or distributed with the help of your executor, you have to go through the court system and probate. You may be able to express who is eligible to receive what in your will but this situation could still end up in the courts determining the distribution of assets. It is much better to engage in the process of estate planning now by scheduling a consultation with an attorney who can walk you through the pros and cons of various tools and ensure that the strategies you select are in line with your personal needs and wishes for the future.

Probate 101: What You Need to Know to Conduct Your Estate Planning

November 14, 2017

Filed under: Probate — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Probate is the term for a legal procedure that is used to settle a decedent’s estate, when they have not taken the appropriate estate planning precautions. It is a process through which the court validates the will if one existed, appoints an administrator if there was no will, or grants authority to the executor if there is a will. This process ensures that the property is distributed, that taxes are paid and also enables the legal transfer of the ownership of the property. get help avoiding probate in NJ

All of a person’s property is subject to probate proceedings whether or not a will exists, except for that property that is put inside a trust, property subject to a transfer on death deed, life insurance proceeds, payable on death accounts or property owned in joint tenancy with another person.

 

The property outlined in these categories automatically passes to the joint tenant, the trust beneficiary or the designated beneficiary – although it could still be subject to estate and inheritance taxes if you have not taken the appropriate estate planning precautions. Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can give you a better overview of the types of stages that estate planning requires and how you can get the benefits provided by someone who can help you select the strategies and tactics necessary for protecting your interests.

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