Are Outright Gifts and Distributions a Good Idea?

may seem tempting because it could be a true surprise to give to one of your loved ones if you plan to pass these assets along. However, you might want to think about planning ahead to pass on these distributions instead. While it might remove some of the elements of surprise, a comprehensive estate plan […]

Estate taxes in New Jersey

I think we can all agree that New Jersey is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. But is it a great place to die? Not so much. Why? In a word (okay, two words): estate taxes. Sure, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.3 million, and taking advantage of the unlimited […]

The gift that keeps on giving: paying your grandchildren’s college tuition

Paying your grandchildren’s (or adult children’s) college tuition is one of the greatest gifts you can make. The education lasts a lifetime and opens a world of opportunity for your grandchildren. In a way, it is like giving a gift to your children as well, since it alleviates their concerns about paying for their children’s […]

Tips for Year-End Giving in 2013

Many elderly New Jersey residents are considering making financial gifts to family and friends at this time of year. If you are considering making such a gift, it is important to understand how the rules applicable to lifetime transfers will impact your gift, otherwise your gift may be subject to a gift tax liability of […]

Three Maneuvers to Help You Qualify for Medicaid

Medicaid is a means-tested government benefit program. For those who qualify, Medicaid will provide payment for long-term care services. A recent article discusses three estate planning maneuvers that may assist a person in qualifying for Medicaid. Gifting Assets Although gifting assets is the most obvious way to reduce the value of a person’s estate, this […]

Lifetime Transfers as Part of an Estate Plan

Most pre-death transfers of wealth consist of transfers of money or other assets from parents to their children. As a recent article explains, these transfers can occur in many different formats, and have various impacts on those involved. Children often ask parents to give them a portion of their would-be inheritance while the parents are […]

The Future of Estate Planning

The fiscal cliff legislation passed in early January has had an impact on many aspects of finance, including estate planning. A recent article discusses how estate planning is changing as a result of the legislation.   The legislation fixed new tax rates and exemption limits. The federal exemption amount now sits at $5.25 million, and […]

Giving to Your Grandkids Without Sacrificing Your Retirement

Many grandparents desire to help their grandchildren financially, however the weak economy and job market has put many grandchildren in a situation where they need more than their grandparents can realistically give. According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, grandparents who are making financial gifts to grandchildren while living off their savings […]