Complex Estate Planning Benefits You and Your Beneficiaries
Complex estate planning ensures that your wealth, assets, and small business will be transferred smoothly to your designated beneficiaries after your death. It took you a lifetime to acquire your properties, savings, pension, and 401k retirement funds, so you want to make sure it’s all allocated out the way you wish after you pass. Estate planning keeps your family out of probate court and reduces or eliminates inheritance, estate, and property taxes that they may have to pay.
Planning your own estate with the help of an attorney allows you to protect your assets, provide for the succession of your business, and ensures your financial well-being and your own medical care when you can no longer take care of yourself. An important estate planning goal is to ensure the preservation of your funds and assets for you and your beneficiaries after your death. Estate planners hold beneficiary deeds and draft the following:
• Living and revocable trusts
• Healthcare and financial powers of attorney
• Medical directives and living wills
Federal Tax Regulations and State Tax Protocols
An estate planning lawyer who has complex estate, accounting, and fiduciary experience understands Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations and can competently represent you in tax agency hearings. Negotiation with creditors and the IRS on your behalf resolves delinquent payments with creditors and back tax matters with the IRS. In the process of inventorying your estate, a tax lawyer can help you and your beneficiaries pay or resolve all taxes due on the estate, including:
• Delinquent and current state and federal tax
• Offers of compromise in good equitable conscience
• Payment plans with federal and state tax agencies
• Audits, liens, and garnishments by the IRS or the New Jersey Department of Taxation
Estate Tax vs. Inheritance Tax
Estate taxes are only paid on inheritances of more than $1 million. Inheritance tax rates vary up to a maximum of 16% of the value of your property depending on the property value when you die. Assets and cash can be transferred to nonprofit charitable institutions according to the deceased’s wishes.
New Jersey Probate Court
Your probate issues may have occurred suddenly when a family member died or was catastrophically injured without a formal estate plan or will. An estate planning lawyer understands how you feel and can help you through the difficult turmoil of loss, grief, and financial responsibility by creating a conservatorship, forming a trust, performing the fiduciary duties necessary to transfer a business, and planning for the financial security and care of the deceased’s next of kin, even special-needs dependents.
A distinguished estate and tax lawyer can help fiduciaries access estate funds and contest a fiduciary’s activities if an individual appears to be taking advantage of your loved one or not adequately performing duties in the best interest of all who benefit from the estate. A probate lawyer can represent you in a wide range of estate disputes and estate litigation including:
• Examination of financial accounting documents
• Removal of a fiduciary if circumstances change
• Defense of fiduciary duties when performed in good faith
• Trust management and payments from trust funds
• Foundation management issues relating to possession of assets or execution of a limited power of attorney
• Governance of a guardian’s actions
• Interfacing with the New Jersey or United States Tax Courts
Finally, when all the statutory requirements are met and all the bills are paid, the deceased’s final wealth is distributed to his or her next of kin, designated beneficiaries, and nonprofit charitable organizations. Performing as an administrator of your loved one’s estate, an attorney can amend trusts or wills, interpret controlling documents, contest wills, or bring civil litigation, if necessary.
We Can Help
Call our law firm in Hackensack, New Jersey, The Knee Law Firm, at 201-996-1200 for a confidential initial consultation to discuss your estate planning or probate needs. Our lawyers are always available to answer your questions.