The Future of Death Taxes

The last few months have brought dramatic changes in the taxation of an individual’s assets upon his or her death. For many, there will no longer be any need to plan for the minimization of death taxes. Residents of the State of New Jersey are subject to three death taxes: (1) the federal estate tax, […]

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Get Rid of That Old Will!

In 1994, Helen M. Weste executed a Last Will. She was single and had no children. The Will made three charitable bequests, left her personal property to a niece, and left the remainder of her estate to be divided in differing percentages among a sister along with eight nieces and nephews. In 2002, Helen executed […]

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Taxes First: Specific Bequest Cannot Be Used to Offset Promissory Note

Christopher C. Economaki, a widower, died on September 28, 2012. He was survived by his two daughters, Christine and Corinne. Christine was named as Executor of his estate. Christopher’s Will poured over into a Trust. The Trust left a $215,000 bequest to Christine to adjust for a comparable annuity distribution to Corinne. The balance was […]

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Special Alert: NJ Kills Estate Tax

On Friday, September 30, after two failed attempts, the third time was the charm for lawmakers from both sides of the aisle when they reached a deal, giving the NJ estate tax its own death sentence. Under the deal, on January 1, 2017, the exemption from this tax will increase from $675,000 to $2,000,000. On […]

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Gifting Homes to Children Can Be Creating A Gift For the Government

Older adults are often concerned with preserving their homes from long term care costs. For many years, the solution has been to transfer their homes to one or more of their children. Doing so can be perilous for a number of practical reasons including the impact upon property in the event one of these children […]

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Court Properly Added Beneficiary To Case Seeking Removal of SNT Trustees

Abbie Dorn, while delivering triplets in 2006, suffered catastrophic injuries and was left permanently disabled. A medical malpractice action yielded a settlement of $6,730,000. A Special Needs Trust was established, which was funded with an initial contribution of $910,275.20. The balance was funded by a $4,333,105 annuity, which was to provide periodic payments of $31,000 […]

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Will a Special Needs Trust Affect My Child’s Government Benefits?

“Will the trust affect my child’s benefits?” In over 25 years of practicing law, this question is constantly asked. The irony of the question is that the client is coming to the office with the understanding that they will be receiving an affirmative response to that concern. The purpose of a special needs trust is […]

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Early Eligibility For Social Security: A Potential Benefit For Spouses Who Care For Children With Disabilities

Parents who care for children with disabilities almost invariably incur additional financial challenges than others. They often pay for additional medical bills while their children are growing up. Upon attaining the age of 18, many children with disabilities are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Although these benefits are helpful, SSI payments often […]

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Powers of Attorney: Practical Tips for Executing, Using and Revoking

By Thomas D. Begley, III, Esq. Co-Authored by Brittany A. Verga, Esq. Although most people initially think that a Will is the cornerstone of estate planning, it is often asserted that the most important document is a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document in which one individual vests authority in another […]

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Court Establishes That Special Needs Trust Is Set In Stone

In 2010, Claude Newsome, who was already legally blind due to macular degeneration, became a quadriplegic as a result of an automobile accident.  After a personal injury action was filed on his behalf, he received a settlement which netted nearly $4 million.  His attorney recommended that he establish a special needs trust with these funds.  […]

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