May, 2018 | Shah & Associates, P.C. Estate Planning & Business Law Blog
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Gender Pay Gap Has Retirement Implications for Women

May 21, 2018

Filed under: Aging In Place — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Although women now graduate in greater numbers than men from college, they also carry 64% of student loan debt. A new study completed by Merrill Lynch found that women have to save for retirement earlier than men and must start planning well in advance. This is if those women intend to maximize their pension benefits and their Social Security.Hire a NJ estate planning lawyer

The unique challenges that women continue to face have to do primarily with debt and pay disparities. Women are confident in many different financial areas except investing. Women may be as confident as men when it comes to budgeting and paying bills but that confidence decreases significantly when it comes to managing an investment. Up to 41% of the women who participated in this survey found that not investing more was their biggest financial regret.

Lack of coverage and educational exposure were some of the most common reasons cited by women who felt that financial management was a daunting task that they did not feel comfortable taking on. If you are interested in tackling your retirement and estate planning goals together, scheduling a consultation with a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area can help to ease your mind and ensure that you have a path that will address your needs for many years to come.

What You Need to Know About Estate Planning and Business Succession Planning from The Perspective of a Lawyer

May 17, 2018

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

The concept of business succession planning and estate planning must be taken together for anyone who owns a company. There are many different ways that businesses can be transitioned after the sole owner exits. Many people fail to consider that exiting on purpose is not the only way that someone could leave a business. 

A sudden divorce or incapacitation could present unique challenges in the business owner’s life, meaning a sudden departure. Many people still wish to actively control their businesses until they pass away, and therefore succession must be addressed in their estate planning documents in terms of their personal representatives. Others may have a clear transfer of power opportunity during their lifetime and may be able to continue as an employee or consultant of the business or retire completely. In certain situations, when power is transferred the business may be sold but there are other situations in which ownership may be retained.

The most difficult way for a client to leave a business is to sell it over the course of his or her lifetime, and then either retire or start a new venture. All of these different options are available to those who are contemplating the benefits of estate planning and business succession planning, and these should always be discussed with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Does The 4% Rule Still Factor into Your Retirement?

May 16, 2018

Filed under: Aging In Place — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

When thinking ahead about how many assets you need to be putting into your retirement, what different percentages you use will depend on your overall financial planning. The 4% rule is one that is often used as a guideline for a comfortable retirement. A Wall Street Journal argued, however, that folks who live by this 4% rule may be at risk of going broke due to the chances of increasing longevity and long-term care. 

The 4% rule is a long-established recommendation about how much retirees may be eligible to safely withdraw from their retirement plan every single year. A financial planner from MIT initially developed the financial rule associated with 4%, meaning that you would pull from your initial retirement assets and then increase that amount every year to reflect inflation. Having a comprehensive estate plan and financial plan for your future is the only way to guard against the potential downsides and obstacles that you may face after you have left the workforce and no longer have the eligibility to pull in income in other ways.

Even if you have enough set aside for retirement, you must factor in how long-term care planning may influence your ability to live longer and a healthy life in retirement. Just one long-term care event can have repercussions for years in terms of having enough money to continue.

Your Estate Plan Doesn’t Have to Be a Failure

May 15, 2018

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

Estate planners already know and share often that many plans don’t produce the results the owner expected. The skills necessary to inherit the wealth may not have been passed down from one generation to another, meaning problems when assets are transferred between generations. Furthermore, heirs are not often prepared emotionally for the transition of their loved one passing and receiving a generous inheritance. Many of the failures associated with typical estate planning are not linked to the language in the will or tax strategies. 

Instead these failures are most often accumulated with the non-technical aspects of the plan, such as the human side. In fact, approximately 70% of estates incur losses or a reduction in family harmony.

According to research, there are two primary reasons for estate planning failures, and these have to do with the heirs not being prepared for the financial transition or not being familiar with the estate details. Setting aside time well in advance to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney is the best way to review your concerns and needs.

When you have a lawyer from the outset of your decision to plan your estate, you’re in good hands with an experienced attorney.

Are You Prepared for Thousands of Days in Retirement?

May 14, 2018

Filed under: Aging In Place — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many people who are looking ahead to their retirement may miss out on the fact that increasing longevity numbers show that once you have retired from the workforce, you may be spending as many as 8,000 days inside retirement. This means having an appropriate estate and retirement plan to guide you. plan for estate and retirement

Because people are living longer and staying healthier, it is not unlikely for someone in their mid-sixties now to enjoy a life expectancy of as many as 30 more years. There are many different opportunities and challenges that come prevalent with these concerns.

You may be thinking about how you intend to spend your days, and hopefully, you will already have retained the services of a financial advisor and an estate planning attorney. There are road maps out there of what to consider one year before retirement and five years before retirement.

Having a comprehensive financial plan that incorporates all of the assets you have worked so hard to save over the course of your lifetime, as well as what you might need to do in the event that you become incapacitated or need the assistance of a nursing home is very important.

There are many different concerns that should factor into your budget, including taxes, Medicare, social security, estate planning, insurance, and long-term care. Scheduling a time to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney is the first step towards guarding all of the assets you have generated

Most Common Financial Challenges Of Widows And Widowers

May 10, 2018

Filed under: Contingency Planning — Neel Shah @ 1:02 pm

Widows and widowers face unique financial challenges when approaching their future.  The sudden loss of a spouse can represent a distinct change in their life emotionally as well as financially.  When one spouse passes away, it is very common to see the division of an estate cause tension inside of family, and certain family members may even try to manipulate a surviving spouse into deviating from the plans previously established by the couple.  

Senior woman looking at dead husband’s picture

Widows are left to assist or support children, handle disputes, honor their spouses wishes and manage financial assets all on their own. Appropriate estate planning is necessary to minimize the opportunities for family members to take advantage of a surviving spouse.  Estate planning tools such as putting together a trust can help to ensure that the deceased spouse’s wishes are followed while maintaining a relationship as a friend or family member rather than as a bank or connection.

Couples can work together in advance of the loss of one or more person to figure out how to best avoid challenges down the road.  Conflicts that arise because of family members can often be avoided well in advance with the support of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Knowing the options at the outset and planning for the future can ease a lot of fear and pain in the process. 

New Study Can Reveal Alzheimer’s Symptoms 10 Years In Advance

May 9, 2018

Filed under: Long Term Care — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A new study identifies that there is artificial intelligence that could help identify the early signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia-related problems approximately a decade before the actual symptoms begin to emerge in an individual patient. More than 67 MRI scans were explored from the Alzheimer’s Disease Narrow Imaging Initiative Database located at the University of Souther California, Los Angeles. Of those evaluated cases, 29 belonged to healthy individuals and 38 were from Alzheimer’s patients. The machine learning developments have shown significant promise for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s since early detection is critical when it comes to treating this disease. long term care planning Alzheimers

When someone receives an earlier diagnosis, they can get treatment sooner rather than later and may have the opportunity to put their financial and legal affairs in order. After a diagnosis of Dementia affecting one of your parents, it is important to get their financial and legal orders in affair immediately while they are still able to make decisions for themselves. Otherwise, issues of mental capacity may arrive and could lead to a contest of the estate planning documents down the road.  

Did you know that once someone is diagnosed with a cognitive problem that the process of estate planning is much more difficult? The good news is that you have lots of options when you notice the early signs of Alzheimer’s and similar conditions. Proper planning can prevent problems for your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are followed when the time comes.

Retirement, Estate Planning Work Together

May 8, 2018

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

There are five core areas that you must focus on in order to cover all of your bases with regards to estate and retirement planning.  Many people often focus on one or the other and don’t realize the extent to which all of these assets are interconnected.  

Having a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to guide you through the process can increase your chances of success and the peace of mind provided by having a comprehensive plan that allows you plenty of assets to rely on in retirement, as well as a legacy plan to pass on those assets.

Having the right guide to assist you with your retirement plan, including financial professionals and an estate planning lawyer, can give you confidence about your future.  The five core areas that must be focused on for effective estate planning include income planning, investment planning, tax planning, healthcare planning, and legacy planning.

Leaving out any one piece of the puzzle could lead to challenges and problems down the road, and that is why it is strongly recommended that someone retain the services of experienced professionals in a team sooner rather than later.

Estate Planning For Both Spouses

May 7, 2018

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

The death of a spouse can generate numerous challenges for the surviving person in terms of the familiar, estate and financial responsibilities.  This is particularly challenging for someone who must suddenly step into a leadership role in these areas of their life when those tasks were previously associated with the now-deceased spouse.  get help with estate planning for both spouses

One of the most important steps for both spouses to take now in order to avoid one spouse being negatively affected in the future is to get a list of assets and where they are all located.  Finding these assets quickly in the event of a crisis or emergency can be very difficult if one person has not been primarily responsible for the family’s finances.

Managing the household budget or paying bills doesn’t always equate to being informed about life insurance policies, survivor benefits or brokerage accounts.  In the event that one spouse doesn’t know the other’s password, this can add an additional barrier that causes problems down the road.  Scheduling a consultation today with an experienced estate planning attorney is strongly recommended if you wish to have a better plan of your next steps.

What Happens to Basic Wills/Trusts After I Pass Away?

May 3, 2018

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

Basic trusts and wills are value estate planning tools that essentially assure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away.  If you do not have estate planning documents like this in place, you could make mistakes that could leave your heirs paying the price. 

This also increases the chances that your heirs may argue about who has a rightful claim over the property included in your estate, and you are essentially handing over the opportunity to make decisions about these issues to the state.  

The state may not come to a conclusion about what is in your best interest or the — what is in your beneficiaries best interest or what you might have listed yourself. Properly written trusts and wills go a long way towards articulating your individual goals and giving you a clear path going forward. If you do not have an experienced estate planning attorney to help you with these various documents, you could be exposed to a number of different challenges.  

Properly written trusts and wills should be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure these strategies are still in line with your individual needs. The support of an extended planning attorney during this time is extremely valuable for identifying possible problems.

Who Is Taking Care Of Your 401(k) Plan?

May 2, 2018

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

Many people make regular deposits into their 401(k) plan, which is likely matched by an employer, but have you ever thought deeply about who is responsible for looking after that 401(k) plan?  This may be referred to as a fiduciary. There are a lot of stakes involved with the answers to these questions. 401 retirement estate planning

In order to help prepare them for retirement, more than 54 million people in the United States rely on 401(k) plans, but many of these plan participants don’t know how to use them properly or how they work.  

A 401(k) plan is essentially a special purpose trust that is generated by your employer to help you save for retirement. The plan trustees or the people responsible for managing it are fiduciaries, meaning that they have a legal responsibility to ensure that the 401(k) plan operates in your best interest. Plan trustees also verify that your 401(k) plan meets the compliance terms of the Employer Retirement Income Security Act, also referred to as ERISA.  

All plan participants must be treated fairly, which means that if you identify that someone has violated the fiduciary duties owed to you in your 401(k) plan, you may have ground for a lawsuit. Your 401(k) plan will come with a formal written document, the details, the operation of the plan. The support of an experienced estate planning can help you realize other types of benefits and assets you may have that should be incorporated into your estate plan.

Entrepreneurs Need Estate Planning, Too

May 1, 2018

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

Young entrepreneurs have a variety of different things on their plate, and many of them may be averse to estate planning because they are concerned with dealing with the day-to-day actions of running a business.  However, business succession planning, asset protection planning, and estate planning are all a critical component of owning a business. 

Typical financial plans include a number of different factors that are all weighted differently depending on your stage in life.  These include tax planning, estate planning, investing, and money management. You will also need to prioritize what is most important for you based on your values, desires, and needs. Ensuring that you’re headed in the right direction as a young entrepreneur typically begins by scheduling a team of professionals to help you with all of your various concerns.  

Having the support of knowledgeable professionals who have been working in this field for some time can help you avoid many of the most common pitfalls experienced by business owners, including lack of having a succession planning, not separating business from personal assets, and not considering how tax planning and estate planning work together for your individual assets.  

Scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney is frequently the first step in protecting your best interests and articulating a long-term plan for what will happen to you and your company.