How to ensure that the inheritance you leave is responsibly spent

elder law trusts nj

It’s often said that the one fact about money is that you can’t take it with you. Fortunately, you can still use it to care for your loved ones and dependents after you’re gone. One of the biggest issues that many of us face when planning how our beneficiaries will inherit is how to ensure that this money isn’t squandered. Here are some tips from a leading estate planning attorney in New Jersey.

  • Give while you’re alive: One idea that’s gaining in popularity is to give your dependents a portion of their inheritance while you’re alive. This way, you can enjoy the results as well as help see that the money is used productively. Your grandchild might want to attend a great college but not be able to afford it, you might have a child who is getting married and would like to afford a home, or you might have a dependent needing money to start up a great business venture.
  • Installments: In 2017, you can gift up to $14,000 per year of your money to as many people as you like, tax-free. If you are married, you and your spouse can bring this up to $28,000. This is a great way to see how your dependents are able to handle their money, and feels like a safer route for parents who are worried about what a large lump sum inheritance will do to their children. It’s also a great way to teach your children and grandchildren about handling money, their different spending and investment options, and the consequences attached to them.
  • Incentive trusts: For many parents, a big worry is that having access to a large amount of money will negatively affect the future of their children, from robbing them of the drive to achieve in life, to making them vulnerable to scams and wasteful living. Incentive trusts are an alternative here to the usual type of inheritance that rewards achievements and goals with financial assets from the trust. These rules are completely up to you, but popular choices include rewarding a dependent an annual amount equal to their earnings, or bonuses for passing specific qualifications. They can also be drafted in such a way to support children who turn their ambition to supporting charities and non-profits.

Expert estate planning advice from your NJ attorney 

If you would like further guidance on how to manage the distribution of your assets, create a trust or draw up a Last Will and Testament, Frank R. Campisano can provide you with the necessary expert legal advice and professional insight.

In addition, he can also assist you with all other aspects of your estate plan, from drawing up medical directives to Power of Attorney documents. For more information on setting up or changing an estate plan, please contact him at the law firm of Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC in New Jersey or visit our website at


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