Estate Planning for Marriages With A Non-Citizen Spouse

While traveling abroad as a student, John met Grace. Grace was a citizen of Spain. Love at first sight, they began a whirlwind courtship and got married. They returned to the United States and eventually settled down as residents of New Jersey. Intending to reside permanently in this country, she nevertheless maintained her Spanish citizenship. […]

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The Ever Expanding Definition of What Constitutes A Will

One of the most important legal documents an individual can ever execute is his or her Will. Until recent years, it was a formal writing prepared by a lawyer to insure that one’s assets were passed to his or her heirs. Yet over the past few decades, alternative planning methods have arisen. Moreover, New Jersey […]

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So Do I Still Need a Trust in NJ?

For New Jersey residents, the New Year delivered the scheduled increase in the New Jersey Estate Tax exemption from $675,000 to $2,000,000. Absent a change in the law over the coming year, the tax will be eliminated altogether at the outset of 2018. So many are likely asking the question, “Do I still need a […]

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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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