From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “What is Estate Planning in Burlington County?”
Most recently updated on June 6th, 2018.
“I have lived over 60 years in Burlington County, New Jersey, without a Will. I guess there is no need for a Will unless you die, right? Just kidding. It is time to put together a Will, but I am not sure if I need a Will or an Estate Plan. Can you tell me the difference? What is Estate Planning in Burlington County?”
What is Estate Planning in Burlington County?
A Will is an important part of an Estate Plan. But, a Will does not address all the issues you face. Estate planning is the process of developing a plan for the transfer of your property at your death, and it solves your needs during your life if you become incapacitated. An estate plan can be simple or complex. The need for simplicity or a more elaborate plan will depend on your assets, your family dynamics, the possible problems faced by your heirs, tax issues and legal limitations.
For example, if at your death all you are survived by one child and your only asset is a small bank account located in Burlington County, then a simple plan of naming that child as the beneficiary of your bank account will suffice.
Most Of Us Think Our Situation is Simple, But Usually it is Not.
Many people’s estates are not so simple. Second marriages, children facing divorce, an estate that is subject to the New Jersey Estate Tax, are all common complications that require more thought. If your child has a troubled marriage, your Burlington County estate-planning lawyer can draft a protective trust to hold the assets you leave that child so the problematic son-in-law cannot claim ownership over the inheritance. These are examples of more complex needing a plan that is more than just giving your child the money outright. While it is a bit more work now, your child will bless your memory when your son-in-law serves her the divorce papers.
When developing an estate plan the principal document at the core of your plan will be a Will drafted by a Burlington County estate planning attorney. Your estate planning attorney does not act alone. He or she may seek advice from an accountant, a financial planner and perhaps a life insurance expert. In another example, say you are a Burlington County resident in a second marriage with children from the first marriage. At your death, you may want to give some assets to both your children and your second spouse.
A typical plan would include the purchase of a life insurance policy from your insurance expert. A significant life insurance policy might best be held in a trust drafted by your Burlington County estate attorney that provides your children with a tax-free cash inheritance at your death. In the trust, this asset is sheltered from the children’s spouses and creditors. Your spouse would then inherit the rest of the estate, such as the house, 401k, and investments, tax-free. Your financial advisor would manage this.
The whole family stands to benefit from estate planning. Therefore it is wise to consult with an experienced, competent estate planning team.
More Planning Questions?
If you have more estate planning questions, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning, Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: What is Estate Planning in Burlington County.
In this article, I tried to answer the question, What is Estate Planning in Burlington County. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. So, let me know how I did, comments and questions are welcome! I hope it helped!
If you have more questions about wills and estate planning, let our Burlington County Estate Planning Lawyers help walk you through the confusing process. Our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.
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