Monroe Township NJ Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney Blog | Neel Shah - Part 2
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New Retirement Study Identifies That Half of Retirees Expect to Work Part-Time

May 17, 2017

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

A new study conducted by the TransAmerica Study for Retirement Studies identified that up to two-thirds of baby boomers intend to work beyond age 65. Some individuals have no plans to retire at all and at least half of the survey respondents expected to have at least some form of employment during that time. baby boomers retirement

Some of the most common reasons for delaying retirement or deciding to work after their retirement age include employer health benefits and the need for additional income. Significant members of individuals share that they simply enjoyed what they did or wanted to stay involved in their vocation.

One of the most important steps to take for anyone who intends to work after retirement is to focus on staying healthy. Many older individuals can be negatively impacted by a serious health care event but planning ahead for the future and having your legal documents in line gives you peace of mind that someone is able to step in and make decisions on your behalf even if you were to become unable to do so. Setting up a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney is another step that you can take to gain confidence about your future plans and distribute any additional assets you may have as a result of continuing to work past your retirement age.

Monitoring projected retirement income needs can give you a good perspective on what you’ll need to support yourself as well as what you will be able to leave behind as a legacy for your beneficiaries. It is also important to have a backup plan in the event that you suddenly need to retire earlier for health or additional reasons. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney today to learn more.

Nearly 70% of Americans Will Need Long Term Care at Some Point

May 16, 2017

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

There is a good chance that you’ll need help at some point in the future with everyday tasks like eating, dressing and bathing. You may also need medical care over an extended period of time. long term care planning for the elderly

A 2005 study indicated that 69% of those individuals aged 65 and beyond will need long term care at some point in the future. However, many people are not prepared with how to plan for it and how to safeguard against the potential decimation of their own retirement and savings as a result of a long-term care event.

Many people assume that Medicare will help pay for any long-term care expenses. But the truth is that Medicare does not cover most long-term care expenses because these are not classified as medical treatment. While Medicare will pay for the first 100 days of care in a nursing home, and Medicaid will cover some of the costs of long-term expenses, the Medicaid program is intended for low-income individuals and will not begin until your income is below the state threshold. Retirees with a lot of assets or with high income may never qualify for Medicaid without an advanced planning strategy, so long-term care insurance can be a huge assistance.

While premiums can be very high, signing up for a policy now while you are young and healthy is strongly recommended as this gives you the best chance to get a lower premium. Long term care insurance can give you peace of mind that your assets will be protected and that you have a safety net should something happen to you. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an elder law attorney about your future planning options for government benefits and your own retirement.

High Net Worth Families Now More Comfortable Sharing Concerns About Their Money

May 15, 2017

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

According to a new study conducted by Wilmington Trust, high net worth families are more comfortable talking about their money and how it will be distributed among beneficiaries than past generations did. The current generation holding the wealth is more comfortable sharing the financial details with their grandchildren and children who will eventually inherit those same funds. That older generation, however, did not receive much details about the family wealth from their parents. Have you shared information about your future plans with your loved ones? If you have not taken this step, you may want to reconsider whether or not someone, such as your attorney or your future executor, knows your intentions and where to find the relevant documents. share your estate plans with family

According to the study, only 33% of wealth holders got similar information from their benefactors although 48% of them shared total financial information with the heirs. 57 families with at least $20 million in assets were included in the study. Of those included, 72% had at least $50 million in assets.

According to the results of that study, 30% of the wealth holders who were not comfortable sharing information said that was because they feared that would demotivate the beneficiaries. However, two-thirds of those inheritors planned to continue working and would not alter their lifestyle. Sharing information about the family wealth and how it will be passed on to somebody else can be an indication of a desire or even an obligation to protect a family’s wealth in future generations.


Long Term Care Insurance on The Rise

May 11, 2017

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


Long-term care insurance, which covers critical expenses like late life needs, nursing home care and at-home nursing care, is becoming too expensive for many retirees to be able to afford. This is an unfortunate discovery because many retirees are not appropriately prepared for the cost of long-term care. long term care


A study conducted by LifePlans determined that the average premium for long-term care insurance was $2727 in 2015, representing an increase of more than 40% from 2005. Up to 55% of the individuals who had opted not to purchase long-term care insurance, who are over age 50 made that decision because it was too expensive. Long-term care insurance helps to fill an important stop gap for retirees.


More than 40% of Americans over age 65 will spend at least some time in a nursing home, according to a recent report shared by MorningStar, others will need at home care as well. Medicaid will cover nursing care only for those individuals who have fully exhausted their financial assets.


Medicare will only cover nursing care under a few narrowed circumstances. Overall, more than $338 billion was spent on long term care services in 2013 alone. Long term care insurance may be a critical part of your plan for retirement and getting older, but you should also consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney about how to approach Medicaid advanced planning.


Are You Exposing Your Retirement Funds to Long Term Care Cost Devastation?

May 10, 2017

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


Do you have enough set aside to afford up to $8000 a month in long-term care? Chances are that at some point during your older years, you will need access to it. Advancements in medical technology mean that baby boomers who are just approaching retirement age may expect to live another 30 years or longer.


If you are 65 years old today, there is at least a 70% chance that you will need some kind of long term care over the course of your life as shared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, without proper planning put in place and considerations over your individual health care and retirement needs, you could be exposing all of your retirement assets to be quickly eaten up with just one long term care event.


Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey identified that a private room at a nursing home has a median cost of just under $8000 per month. An in-home aide cost just less than $4000 per month and those costs are continuing to rise.
Medicaid and Medicare may not fully cover all of the expenses associated with a long-term care event, exposing you to serious problems and worrying that you’ll have to decimate all of your retirement savings. If you have particular assets set aside, you may wish to hand these off to future generations after you pass away, but they could be quickly eaten up if you do not have protection tools in place such as Medicaid considerations with advanced planning or a long-term care insurance policy. Do not hesitate to consult with an experienced New Jersey estate planning lawyer to learn more about how to protect yourself now and in the future.

News Shows That Americans Have Not Come Far Enough on Retirement Planning

May 9, 2017

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

retirement planning optionsAccording to a recent study conducted by the American College of Financial Services, three out of four adults reaching retirement age failed a quiz on how to make their nest eggs last throughout their retirement. 


Older Americans or those between the ages of 60 and 75, also indicated a lack of understanding about critical financial topics like paying for long term care expenses, investment considerations and different strategies that could help to sustain income over the course of retirement.


This is a particularly problematic study finding, given that approximately 10,000 baby boomers will be reaching age 65 single day over the course of the next 12 years. More Americans are facing retirement, but are doing so without clear knowledge about how to make this money last and what they need to have set aside when they begin the retirement process.


Many Americans, however, might not even know that they are simply unprepared for retirement. 61% of the respondents reported having high levels of knowledge about their retirement income, but only 33% of them passed the corresponding quiz. The survey found that there is a major divide when it comes to particular demographics as well.


Only 17% of women were able to pass the quiz when compared with 35% of men. 40% of those individuals who had at least a college degree passed this study as well. This divide underscores that it is so important for everyone to approach comprehensive estate and retirement planning.

Include Planning for Higher Education in Your Estate Planning Goals

May 8, 2017

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


The assets you have in mind for your loved ones may include your thoughts on how they will be used, too. That’s why some people choose to use tools such as trusts to maintain some level of control over how the assets are used. Were you hoping to leave behind some assets for your loved ones to help with educational costs?estate planning for college 


Higher education is only becoming more expensive. Recent data points showed that it is outpacing inflation by an average of at least 4%. Within the last five years, tuition has increased by at least 9% in most cases and many families are struggling with how they will be able to plan for college.


While there are traditional opportunities such as a 529 savings plan, it is also important to consider that you may wish to include planning ahead for higher education in your estate planning. Leaving behind a specific type of account or using a life insurance policy to assist a loved one with paying for college are just a few of the ways you can assist a beneficiary with accomplishing his or her goals comprehensively.


Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced estate planning lawyer, if you have questions about the different ways that you can incorporate assets that will be gifted on to others that they can use for the purposes of higher education. If something were to happen to you, your loved ones would be able to tap into those financial resources to accomplish their educational goals.

Why You Need to Have a Conversation with Your Elderly Parents About the Difference Between a Will and Beneficiary Designations

May 4, 2017

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

Unfortunately, some adult children find out too late that their loved ones did not take all the necessary steps as it relates to estate planning. This can compromise the integrity of what the decedent wanted to pass along particularly if the will was updated but the beneficiary designations on bank accounts, retirement accounts or life insurance policies were not. will and beneficiary designations

The companies that have those beneficiary designations are responsible for adhering to the last filed materials by the decedent, meaning that even if the will stipulates that someone is to receive half or all of the overall estate, those beneficiary designations are cleared separately. This means that if a person did not update their life insurance policy and a spouse they had divorced from is still listed as the beneficiary, that individual would still be entitled legally to receive any and all benefits under that life insurance policy to which they were previously entitled.

It is extremely important to ensure that your loved ones update their documents on both ends as it relates to estate planning tools like wills as well as beneficiary designation forms including those with life insurance policies. Consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you accomplish this goal. It is essential that your parents understand that these are two separate things and they both should be updated if they intend to update their estate plan purposes overall.


Liquid vs. Illiquid Assets to Leave Your Loved Ones

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

Estate planning is about more than deciding that you want to leave things behind to your loved ones- it’s also about deciding what you’ll be leaving behind and how it makes the most sense for your family members and friends. What they are able to do with those assets could have a big impact on their future. leaving behind assets to your loved ones

Taking an inventory of all of your assets while you are still alive allows you to determine the best strategies for your estate planning overall. You might decide that some of these assets should be gifted to individuals while you are still alive or placed inside a trust for the purposes of asset protection or estate planning.

Consider liquidity as well when you determine what assets you would like to leave behind to your family members. A liquid asset is any asset that can easily be converted to cash with little impact on the price of that asset. if your estate is mostly made up of hard assets, your heirs may be forced to sell these for a discounted price in order to raise the funds necessary to pay for the estate tax.

Considering all of these complex issues is much easier when you identify a New Jersey estate planning attorney who has extensive experience in this field. Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced New Jersey estate planning lawyer to talk more about the assets you intend to leave behind and the most appropriate strategies for doing so.



How to Effectively Approach Your Digital Accounts Before You Pass Away

May 3, 2017

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

There’s plenty of discussion about the benefits of traditional estate planning but you may also need to consider how your digital accounts are included as well. Most people underestimate the number of digital accounts that they truly have. Choosing to inventory these and listing all of the appropriate passwords and username information can make it easier to identify what you want to happen to them after you pass away. 

There’s a good chance that you’ll have different plans for different accounts. For example, you may wish to memorialize your Facebook account but have other accounts closed entirely. If you do not follow the terms of service listed on each individual website, however, your digital executor may face challenges trying to carry out your wishes. Bear in mind that each website might have its own rules requiring your executor to show proof that the action they intend to take is in line with what you wanted to occur.

Getting the proper documentation well in advance by consulting with an estate planning attorney can help you with this. You can also help avoid some of these challenges by backing up your files. Downloading all of the digital assets to an external hard drive, for example, will make it much easier for an executor to access after you pass away. Make sure that every time you add a social media or other digital account that you add this information to your records. Make sure you note accounts that you have set to auto delete after a certain period of inactivity. This will make things much easier when you approach the estate planning process.

Asset Protection Planning: Thinking Ahead When You Get Married

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

Divorce is not inevitable but many people find the process of thinking about their future finances and ending their marriage as extremely difficult when they are just planning the wedding itself. However, a strategic wealth plan can be an important component of asset protection planning. asset protection planning goals


Divorce is a risk that every marriage faces. It is strongly advised that every individual thinking about getting married consider asset protection for their own sake as well as for the future of their children and future generations. The best financial protection that an individual who has any significant wealth entering into a marriage can provide is to put together an asset protection trust or classify a dynasty trust.


Other multi-generational wealth planning tools can also be advantageous. This protection can help remove the wealth from the hands of future creditors, future ex-spouses, inappropriate beneficiaries or lawsuit decisions. This can also help individuals to avoid starting a marriage without having the uncomfortable conversation about prenuptial agreements.

Asset protection planning is an important topic that parents should always consider, as well as any couple that intends to protect their assets from unintended consequences. There are several different types of assets that you can protect in the process of asset protection planning including:

  •       Real estate
  •       Financial gifts
  •       Inheritances

Having the assets protected inside a domestic asset protection trust or an irrevocable trust is strongly recommended.   


Planning Ahead if You Intend to Give Assets to Your Children Differently in Your Estate

May 2, 2017

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

Although the most popular way to approach your estate plan is to leave all assets equally to all your children. However, there are many situations where parents might apply logical reasoning to determine that unequal inheritances are a better approach. For example, if you have a child with special needs, he or she may benefit from a special needs trust to manage their disability-related concerns. 

An older child may make more money than the others leaving the younger children with a greater need for inheritance, or there are situations in which you may wish to completely disinherit an estranged child. Unequal inheritances, however, can lead to numerous problems including ending sibling relationships, will contests, and hurt feelings. if you intend to avoid fighting over children among the different inheritance amounts, it is essential to use trusts instead of wills.

If you pass away with assets in your name alone and only have a will, those assets will go through a probate proceeding. Family conflict with the use of wills is common because children have to receive legal notice with a copy of the will.

Each child may show up in probate court with their own individual lawyer and contest the will. The associated expense and the frustration of litigation can drag on for years. When you use a trust instead of a will, you decrease the chances of family conflict associated with the inheritance. Trusts effectively avoid probate because you transfer assets into the trust while you’re still alive and the trust determines what happens to those assets when you pass away and the children will not necessarily receive legal notice. Consult with an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney if you would like to discuss this in further detail.

The Threats for Wealthy Families Are on The Rise

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

Security threats are more prevalent than ever and multi-family offices are being targeted in the most recent round of attacks. According to a recent study, only 9% of all respondents out of 55 family wealth firms were involved day to day in security risk management. Although up to 73% reported recent concerns associating incidents involving their clients.


asset protection planner lawyerA comprehensive asset protection planning approach should always be taken for any wealthy family that is concerned about protecting the wealth they have worked so hard to build. The most prevalent type of financial issue affecting wealthy families, according to the study was credit card fraud.
More than half of the respondents indicated that, at least one of their clients was a victim of credit card fraud in the previous year. Another unsuspecting and yet serious trend has to do with tax returns being hijacked. Given that there are many different ways that high net worth individuals can be targeted, including litigation or a spouse attempting to pursue personal assets as a stake in the divorce, it is extremely important for any high net worth individual to schedule consultation with an experienced asset protection planning attorney to talk over the benefits of advanced planning.

Do You Really Owe Your Kids an Inheritance?

May 1, 2017

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

It is never easy to approach the topic of estate planning for anyone. One of the most common reasons that people are uncomfortable with this topic as a whole is that they are concerned that talking about it means reflecting on their own mortality. should you leave behind an inheritance?

This is certainly a challenging act by approaching your estate planning but things can become even more complicated and you may begin to wonder whether or not you owe your children an inheritance and the best ways for leaving behind assets. A recent study conducted by the Insured Retirement Institute indicated that only 46% of baby boomers felt that it was important to leave an inheritance behind to loved ones. In the past, however, that number was closer to the two-thirds rate.

Many people in mid-life expect to spend everything that they have before they pass away; an indication that longevity numbers are certainly having an impact on people’s ability to stretch their retirement income. This also highlights the potentially catastrophic cost of long-term care in health issues.

Planning ahead is key if you do intend to leave behind an inheritance. If you don’t make the proper plans for it, you could be setting up your hires for numerous problems. The state and federal government could end up taking a tremendous amount out in terms of taxes and you could also expose your beneficiaries having this information tapped into by creditors. Leaving behind a legacy is a common goal for many people engaged in the estate planning process and you can accomplish this by consulting directly with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.

Asset Protection Planning: You Need to Have It

April 27, 2017

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

Too many people realize that asset protection planning is valuable when it’s too late. For example, after a lawsuit is filed against a doctor or after creditors swoop in to take personal assets. This can expose your entire family, your company, and all that you have worked so hard for to serious risks, and that’s why it’s important to start asset protection planning now, even if you’re not yet sure that you need it. Putting a safeguard plan in place now makes a lot of sense, but you’ve got to be prepared by setting up an initial consultation with an experienced asset protection planning lawyer. If you face risks because of your wealth or your profession, asset protection planning is a must-do. asset protection planning is critical

Looking ahead to the future can increase your chances that your beneficiaries will be able to receive the assets that you intend. More than $59 trillion is expected to pass from baby boomers to the future generation, according to a study published by the Boston College Center on Wealth & Philanthropy. Unfortunately, however, despite these numbers, very few baby boomers have taken steps to ensure that their wealth does not disappear immediately after the transfer. Up to 70% of families lose all of their wealth by the second generation, according to data shared by the Williams Group Wealth Consultancy. 90% of families lose all of their wealth by the third generation.

There are changing needs for affluent and mature clients who are concerned about successfully transferring and preserving their wealth. Identifying an experienced attorney who can assist with the asset protection planning process and infusing various strategies such as trusts and other estate planning tools can give you peace of mind that your assets will be passed on to a future generation and protected as much as possible.


Why Caregivers are So Important for Those Individuals Who Have Disabilities

April 26, 2017

Filed under: Special Needs Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A 2011 study shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified that the number of children who had developmental disabilities increased by 17% between 1997 and 2008. The prevalence of autism alone increased by 290% and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder increased by 33%. disability estate planning

This expanding portion of the population needs help. Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues may also impact aging parents raising questions about who will be responsible for caretaking and what will happen to an individual’s assets when he or she needs to qualify for Medicaid or additional services. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss future planning for Medicaid and other goals for your assets is extremely important. Many people looking to the future need to consider how a child with developmental disabilities would be cared for.

It is essential that these individuals be able to qualify for government benefits and programs and planning ahead for a sudden asset transfer without taking this into consideration could jeopardize your loved one’s ability to qualify for Medicaid or other benefit programs designed for special needs individuals. Having a conversation well in advance is the best way to plan for this.

Whether it’s a cognitive or a physical disability, the right planning goes a long way. Having a knowledgeable caregiver and plans put in place well in advance can help anyone who is going through the process of protecting the interests of a person with a disability. Talk to an estate planning lawyer today about strategies and options for those with special needs.

Prince’s Estate Still in Limbo One Year Later

April 25, 2017

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

Prince passed away just over one year ago. Unfortunately, however, his unexpected death associated with an accidental painkiller is still tied up in probate court. It is estimated that Price’s estate is worth more than $300 million and unfortunately, he passed away without a will and testament to his name, causing serious concerns. This story illustrates just how important basic estate planning can prove to be no matter the size of your estate.NJ estate planning attorneys help you look ahead to the future

Minnesota probate court has had to sift through dozens of dubious alleged claims of a connection to the musician. The courts are still trying to put an end to the ongoing conflicts between numerous family members. Two remaining claimants, however, argue that a temporary special administrator for the estate inappropriately aligned funds that were supposed to be received by beneficiaries.

Prince’s estate shows just how complicated things can get if you do not take the necessary steps to protect your estate well in advance. This can lead to numerous conflicts, allegations from people who are not tied to you at all coming forward and wanting to claim a piece of your estate, and arguments over whether or not an executor is handling things appropriately. Thankfully, as an individual aware of these problems now, you can take necessary steps to minimize the chances that your family will have any additional frustrations or concerns to deal with after you pass away.

The right estate planning lawyer can help you identify next steps in order to accomplish your individual estate planning strategies. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer today to learn more about your options.


IRS Changes Process for Estate Tax Liens

April 24, 2017

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

One of the aspects of handling an estate that can prove problematic is when the IRS puts a lien on property. The IRS is capable of putting a lien on a piece of property or an asset in order to recover money that is owed to them after a person passes away. 

Internal Revenue Service procedures have been updated in the last several months. No announcement from the IRS was given in June 2016 when the agency consolidated all responsibility for processing form 4422. This paperwork is filed when an estate plan’s transfer assets prior to filing forms 706, if those same assets are a subject to an estate tax lien as outlined under internal revenue code section 6324. Obtaining a lien release after filing a form was a routine matter in the past.

However, the IRS has been mandating that all of the net proceeds from the sale of that property be put into an escrow account or the estate tax account directly with the IRS. The IRS issued a statement earlier in 2017 acknowledging that they were reviewing and updating their process. A memorandum was issued on April 5th about the internal guidance for processing requests and discharging the estate tax liens. If you have concerns about qualifying for the estate tax and strategies and steps you can take, as well as how it may affect your future beneficiaries, consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney today.


How to Use Your Will to Assist Your Elderly Parents

April 20, 2017

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

Many individuals are looking forward to the future and the future generations when it comes to putting together a will and other components of an estate plan. However, you may also be interested in putting together an estate plan and in particular, your will to assist your elderly parents. Although no one wants to think about their own mortality, it can be important to consider all potential opportunities for estate planning well in advance. 

If you were to pass away in advance of your parents, your parents could struggle significantly. A will could assist your elderly parents from avoiding government benefits in the event that you passed away before they did. For example, if your parents were listed as the beneficiaries on a life insurance policy, a large payout from the life insurance company could make it impossible for your parents to qualify for the government benefits they need through Medicaid, unless you have a critical provision listed inside your will.

If your parents have limited resources and were planning on receiving Medicaid to assist them with their health care concerns in older age, you may need to take additional steps to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney about the best way to approach holistic estate planning.

Holistic estate planning should view not only what happens to your assets after you pass away, but how your individual beneficiaries will be impacted by such a move. This allows you to come out with strategies and tactics that can assist with making the transfer of assets as complementary to everyone as possible.

New BMO Wealth Management Report Shows That There Are Complicated Family Dynamics for Estate Planning

April 19, 2017

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

A new study indicated that up to one-quarter of married adults shared that only their spouse understood the location of their power of attorney and the wills. That survey also indicated that less than 30% of adults knew the location of their parents’ wills or details about the estate distribution plans or executor selections.

It turns out that families with significant wealth may have a long way to go in order to effectively discuss estate planning. Family dynamics are becoming more complex, making it more likely than ever that there will be a conflict after somebody passes away. 40% of the individual surveyors felt that the current distribution plans for their parents’ estate were unfair. Unmarried respondents were those individuals most likely to indicate this. Several financial planning tips can assist you with ensuring that you have minimal conflict opportunities with your loved ones. These include:

  • Setting up a meeting to discuss tax implications.
  • Using a trust to transfer assets outside of your estate.
  • Reviewing your will on a regular basis to ensure that it is updated.

If you have questions about the estate planning process and how it can be used to help you contact an experienced estate planning lawyer today.


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