December, 2017 | Shah & Associates, P.C. Estate Planning & Business Law Blog
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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.