Life Insurance Beneficiaries Must Be Designated, Not Assumed

In July 2012, Michael G. Fox got married, and looked forward to many happy years with his new wife, Evanisa.  Unfortunately, Michael died tragically in a work-related car accident just four months later.  Evanisa assumed that she was entitled to the death benefit from his life insurance policy. In attempting to file her claim, Evanisa […]

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Planning for the Smooth Transition of a Decedent’s Home

In the early years of Saturday Night Live, there was a skit called “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.”  It dealt with John Belushi playing a dinner guest that refused to leave his hosts’ home.  A very funny sketch, but one that is often re-enacted without the humor in real life by children who reside with […]

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Three Essential Documents for Parents of Children with Special Needs

For many families, a proper estate plan consists of the preparation of a Will, Advance Directive (Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney) and a General Durable Power of Attorney.  Various trusts can be employed as well to achieve goals such as the avoidance of probate and minimization of death taxes.  Parents who have […]

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Getting Government Payments for Children with Disabilities

Parents who have children with disabilities face a myriad of legal, medical and financial issues.   There are a host of government programs which can provide assistance in a variety of forms including housing and medical coverage.   Two programs, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), provide cash. In order to obtain the […]

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Trick or Treat: Estate Tax Exemption to Increase

Trick or Treat: Estate Tax Exemption to Increase

Just in time for Halloween, the Internal Revenue Service has announced that the exemption from the federal estate tax will increase to $5,430,000, effective January 1, 2015.  Pursuant to the Fair Tax Act of 2013, this exemption, known as the applicable exclusion amount, is adjusted for inflation on an annual basis.  Initially set at $5,250,000 […]

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The Impact of Settlements of Death Taxes

Mike and Hillary have been married for many years.  Although Hillary thought the marriage was wonderful, she found out that Mike’s feelings were not mutual when he died.  Two weeks after the funeral, she received a letter from an attorney representing the estate, Travis Tanner, enclosing a copy of the Will.  Mike’s will left nothing of his […]

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Rewriting a Will After Death

Dave and Molly have been married for many years.  They have an estate worth $1.5 million which includes their home, bank and brokerage accounts and life insurance.  They have three adult children: Manny, Moe and Jack.  Manny and Moe are successful businessmen who are financially secure.  Jack, though, was born with Down’s Syndrome and is […]

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What If I Don’t Want an Inheritance?

The Purpose of Disclaimers and How to Use Them Although most individuals gladly welcome an inheritance, there are occasions in which one may want to forego part or all of one.  The vehicle by which to do so is known as a disclaimer. A disclaimer is a post-mortem estate planning device which affords the estate […]

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Understanding New Jersey Death Taxes: Part 2

There are a variety of transfer taxes which affect a decedent’s estate.  In the State of New Jersey, the estates of decedents are subject to two primary forms of death tax.    The first is the New Jersey Transfer Inheritance Tax which is a tax on the heirs of an estate.  The second is the New […]

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Understanding New Jersey Death Taxes: Part I

When an individual dies there are a variety of taxes to which his estate and heirs are subject.  These include federal and state estate taxes, federal and state estate income taxes, the generation skipping transfer tax, the gift tax and state inheritance taxes.  For residents of the State of New Jersey, death triggers two taxes […]

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