When providing a secure future for your loved ones, one of the most important steps you can take is developing a comprehensive estate plan. This process is time-consuming and complex, but a knowledgeable attorney could ensure you address every important detail in your plan.

One of the most important questions during this process is dealing with assets and ownership in Manalapan Township. In order to create a lasting plan, you need a clear picture of what you own and what it is worth. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you with this process.

The Importance of Asset Evaluation

Valuation of assets is one of the most critical aspects of the estate planning process. Understanding the value of these assets allows the estate creator in Manalapan Township to have a clear picture of what each beneficiary is receiving. Valuation is also important for estate tax purposes in some limited situations.

How these valuations occur can vary, depending on the situation. When the property passes through a living trust and all the interested parties agree on the value, a formal valuation might not be necessary.

In many cases, a formal valuation is required to determine what an asset is worth. How difficult that valuation is to obtain can also vary. Some assets are straight-forward to evaluate. There is a standard process for placing a value on most cars and real property, and countless appraisers can handle that task. These valuations can become more complicated for high-value property or extremely rare vehicles.

Placing a dollar value on rare property, in general, can be more challenging. While many tools can determine what a car or a home is worth, the value of rare jewelry or antique furniture might not be so obvious. The use of experts to determine these values can be helpful.

Ownership Questions in the Estate Planning Process

When a person creates an estate plan, determining what happens to the property they own as an individual is a straight-forward process. Once asset valuation is complete, that individual can simply decide which beneficiary will receive a specific asset during the distribution process.

Things are not as simple when it comes to assets that are jointly owned by two or more people in Manalapan Township. Most of the time, the right of survivorship will determine what happens to a jointly owned asset. According to this right, the surviving party will become the sole owner of the asset after they take over the decedent’s share. This is especially common with married couples.

This can become contentious because the right of survivorship trumps any language in a will or trust document. Even if a person wills jointly owned property to someone else, the survivor retains ownership. While this can frustrate the intent of some estate planners, an experienced attorney could provide helpful solutions.

Talk to an Attorney About Plans for Assets and Ownership in Manalapan Township

When you are concerned about the future of your assets and ownership in Manalapan Township, relying on an attorney is a good idea. Skilled legal counsel could show you what these assets are worth and help you develop a plan to distribute them moving forward. Reach out to our firm today to get started.