May, 2018 | Shah & Associates, P.C. Estate Planning & Business Law Blog
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Planning and Organizing Will Be Key for Estate Planning

May 31, 2018

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

Estate planning involves going one step beyond simply talking about the issues or thinking about how you might want your estate to be handled in the future. Planning and organization are the cornerstones of a successful estate plan and it’s very valuable to sit down with an outside party who can help to ensure that your plans accurately reflect what you intend. 

Many people have a common goal of wanting to make their estate as easily managed as possible because they don’t want their children and other loved ones to have any difficulties after they pass away. Therefore, wrapping up affairs with as few problems or conflicts is a common goal for most people.

The first thing to do is to have a plan and to have clear storage locations designated for each of these materials. Hiring an attorney may seem overwhelming or like it can be easily skipped, however, there are far too many pitfalls in the process of estate planning that could cause you numerous problems and leave your loved ones paying the price in the form of a disorganized estate. It’s much better to sit down and walk through one document at a time to verify that your documents reflect what you actually intend that they will be viewed as valid by the state.

Six Ways to Afford Long Term Care

May 30, 2018

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

Long term care insurance is not the only way to afford your future, but it is one of six ways that you may be able to approach health care costs that may surge into your later years. Given that the average cost for a person turning 65, in need of long term care services, is $138,000, it is thoroughly responsible to ensure that you have a plan in place. 

If you have already checked whether or not a long term care insurance policy is possible or accessible and identified that it is not within your financial reach, there are still five other options you can consider to fund your long term care expenses. These include health savings accounts, adding riders to your current life insurance policies, using your personal savings, taking advantage of veteran benefits when you are eligible, and exhausting all of these options to have your long term care cost paid through Medicaid.

Medicaid planning requires advanced consideration and will likely need insight from an experienced estate planning lawyer who is thoroughly knowledgeable about how to protect your best interests. Scheduling a consultation today with an asset protection planning attorney and an estate planning attorney can help to clarify what’s next.

Best Side Hustles for Working in Retirement

May 29, 2018

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

Entering your retirement years doesn’t mean that you have to stop working entirely. In fact, for a growing portion of the retirement market, retirement is an opportunity to take on new and exciting side hustles. Having a side gig that helps to supplement your retirement income and gives you something to look forward to is extremely beneficial. 

Businessman Brainstorming About Retirement Planning

Women also face advanced challenges with retirement because it is likely that they have not set aside enough to help support their own retirement. This is why side hustles can assist.

Many of the different types of side hustles that can be beneficial for someone in their older years include those that allow them to be on their feet for a short period of time, such as dog walking. Others may benefit from working in the freelance marketplace because they are eligible to set their own hours.

Working in a part-time position on a side gig, such as building a website or writing a book can also help to bring in extra income while giving your mind something to focus on and feeling as though you have transitioned into a new phase in your life.

Plan for the Best… and Worst

May 24, 2018

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

Don’t put off the process of estate planning, such as articulating important agreements like a power of attorney or your will because you assume that the worst will not happen to you. Payment Options for Long-term care

This is a catastrophic mistake that could end up causing problems for your loved ones down the road. It is far better to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney today to ensure that your primary needs and concerns have been addressed.

The support of a dedicated attorney is extremely valuable when you find yourself in this situation. Looking ahead to the future means thinking about unanticipated events. A sudden disability or diagnosis of a medical condition tied to a car accident, for example, could represent significant changes in your life and you need to be prepared for how to address these. Having an estate plan or business succession plan, already stipulated in these cases, can make it much easier to adjust in the heat of a moment when you must be able to respond effectively and appropriately.

The support of an experienced attorney is highly valuable when thinking about how your estate plan will translate into individual actions. Schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer today.

You can make things easier for your family members and your own peace of mind by setting up a plan you can count on in the event of a worst-case scenario.

High Net Worth Clients Must Have Experienced Estate Planners

May 23, 2018

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

Anyone who has an extremely high net worth must be mindful of the many different ways that their assets and their overall estate can be affected by taxes and retirement planning. 

High net worth clients often come with complicated needs, making it all the more important to retain the services of an experienced asset protection planning and estate planning lawyer. Many of these needs include succession planning for business owners, behavioral consulting, estate planning, tax mitigation, and asset protection planning.

The services must often extend into the help of other professionals, including investment management. Any advisors that are not offering specialized services must be mindful of the fact that it may be challenging for them to retain high net worth clients. High net worth clients want to know that they have an advisor they can turn to over the duration of their relationship and get questions answered as their cases become more complex and as their needs shift over the course of life.

An estate plan that must be updated regularly is even more important for a person with high net worth as they may be continuing to grow that worth and have unique considerations that evolve over the course of time.  

How Making Better Financial Decisions Can Help You in the Future

May 22, 2018

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

Many people are confused about investment basics and this can cause problems when they approach financial or estate planning. Financial planning unfortunately, usually isn’t taught in schools and investing or financial management are not necessarily intuitive, but it is critical to know how to plan for your own financial wellbeing. Many people believe that they should be doing all of these various things related to their investment and retirement planning and often become overwhelmed by so much information. estate planning in NJ about more than money

Learning about the basic types of investments and determining what you would like to achieve in your retirement, is a great way to begin with your end goal and then reflect backwards about the steps that you could take to protect your best interests.

Scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable financial advisor and an experienced estate planning attorney can help you to understand all of the various assets that make up your current estate and how these should be considered together when you approach the future. The support of an estate planning attorney in particular, is very valuable because many people underestimate the volume of the assets inside their individual estate.

If you fail to include all of the necessary assets, you could expose yourself to unnecessary tax consequences and problems for your loved ones in terms of the state making decisions on your behalf because you chose not to engage in estate planning.

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.