The ABCs of Life Insurance and Divorce

The ABCs of Life Insurance and Divorce

The effects of divorce upon the right to life insurance are often greatly misunderstood,  and many individuals don’t realize the impact that divorce has upon this asset. As such, upon death, many policies are paid in a manner which is unintended. Divorce Supersedes Beneficiary Designations When individuals obtain life insurance, the insurer requires that they […]

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Benefits of Marriage

Benefits of Marriage

Millions of Reasons to Say “I Do” Lillian Garis Booth and Michael Dabich, residents of Bergen County, were companions for 51 years.  They met in New York when Booth was 42 and Dabich was 27.  According to Dabich, they held themselves out as husband and wife before his family and society in general in his […]

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How About the “Will App” for iPhone?

How About the “Will App” for iPhone?

On September 2, 2011, Karter Wu, a resident of Queensland, Australia, committed suicide.   Just before he took his life, he created a series of documents on his iPhone.  Most of these were final farewells.  However, among them was his expression of his Last Will. The document began with the words, “This is the Last Will […]

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Trusting Your Estate Plan to Software?

Trusting Your Estate Plan to Software?

Over the past ten years, many individuals have looked for alternative means by which to plan their estate.  Allegedly seeking to forego the expense of an attorney, many people try to use “fill in the blank” documents from stationary stores and will kits.  As the usage of computers, and the internet in particular, has increased, […]

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Beware: Estate Planning Scams Are Knocking at Your Door

Beware: Estate Planning Scams Are Knocking at Your Door

Over the years, people have been increasingly concerned about the cost of legal services.  Without question, there are a number of lawyers and law firms who have abused the public’s trust by overcharging for wills and other estate planning services.  This abuse of trust, coupled with an uncertain economy, has compelled people to hope to […]

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IRS Provides Portability Relief

IRS Provides Portability Relief

Since the federal estate tax was resurrected on January 1, 2011, the IRS has allowed for the concept of portability as a valuable post-mortem planning tool for married couples.  When an individual dies, his or her estate is exempt from this tax for an amount known as the “applicable exclusion amount.”  This amount is in […]

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Protecting Your Assets and Preserving Your Wishes

Protecting Your Assets and Preserving Your Wishes

Mike and Carol are a couple who both have children from a prior marriage.  Mike has three sons – Greg, Peter and Bobby.  Carol has three daughters – Marcia, Jan and Cindy.  After several years of marriage, they decide to execute Wills.  Wanting to keep it “simple,” Mike leaves everything to Carol, with the understanding […]

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Higher Gift Tax Limits for 2014

Higher Gift Tax Limits for 2014

With the beginning of another year comes changes in the laws effecting federal estate and gift taxes.  There are three primary taxes in this area: (1) federal estate, (2) the generation skipping transfer (GST), and (3) the gift tax. For the year 2014, the exclusion from the federal estate tax is $5,340,000.  This is an […]

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But I Did Spend Last Night at a Holiday Inn Express!

But I Did Spend Last Night at a Holiday Inn Express!

In June 2009, Sophia Ricco died.  She had no Will and left behind two adult children as her surviving heirs.  The son, Al, with the consent of his sister, Eileen, applied and received Letters of Administration from the Camden County Surrogate.  Feeling that his mother’s death was caused by the acts and omissions of various […]

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Beneficiary Designations

Are your beneficiary designations for life insurance, IRAs, 401(k) plans as you intend them to be?  Are you sure? Query:  If you have designated a beneficiary for a life insurance or an annuity-related asset as “my children in equal shares,” is that truly your intention?  Keep in mind that if that particular designation exists on […]

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