What?! – I Can’t Amend My Irrevocable Trust?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this question, usually years after the irrevocable trust was signed: “You mean I can’t change the trust?” The short answer to the question is “No, an irrevocable trust is, by its terms, irrevocable and cannot be changed”. The long answer is… well, first some basics. […]

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Special Tax Alert

Well, the results are in.  President Obama has been re-elected.  The Democrats have won the Senate.  The Republicans have won the house.  No party can claim a mandate. What does this mean for us?  From the standpoint of estate and gift taxes, it means a lot.  Currently, each individual has a $5,120,000 exemption from the federal estate […]

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Government Sets Obstacle for the Disabled

Earlier this year, the Social Security Administration released a substantial revision to its Program Operations Manual System (POMS) which has a dramatic impact upon those who are classified as disabled and receive needs based government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and Section 8 Housing.  Specifically, POMS SI 01120.201 has been modified to […]

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Understanding the Valuation of Personal Effects

Tangible Personal Assets: What are they worth? This could spark an intense debate. Whether you are looking to value tangible personal assets – collections, cars, jewelry, art – for estate planning purposes or for estate administration purposes, it is important to have the valuation completed by qualified persons. Beauty can be in the eye of […]

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Unexecuted Will Admitted to Probate

Capehart Scatchard’s Thomas D. Begley, III obtained a significant decision in the Superior Court of New Jersey when he successfully argued that an unexecuted Will of a Burlington County resident be admitted to probated. In February 2012, SalvatoreVarsaci consulted with an attorney to revise his Will.  The Will was drafted and sent to him for […]

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Appellate Court Discusses Rambo – No, Not the Movie

A recent Appellate Division case tells an interesting tale of human tragedy, mixing in criminal and estate administration law.  Roy Rambo graduated from dental school in 1977.  Along with his wife, Linda, a dental hygienist, he established a dental practice in Warren County.  Apparently, the practice did fairly well, since they amassed joint assets of […]

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The Types of Probate Administration

In the State of New Jersey, probate is handled by the Office of the Surrogate (also known as the Surrogate’s Court) established in each county. Unlike many states, the probate process is very simple. Filing requirements and appearances before probate judges are generally atypical. Notwithstanding, it is imperative to understand the probate process in New […]

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Taking the First Step: Filing an Estate in Probate Court

CHALLENGING THE WILL AND IMPROPER LIFETIME GIFTS Historically, probate litigation revolved around two primary areas: (1) guardianships and (2) will contests. However, the type and scope of such litigation has increased due to an increasing elderly population. Due to this increase, many individuals are executing estate planning documents at an older age and at times […]

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Special Estate Administration Issues

There are a myriad of issues that can confront an estate upon a Decedent’s death. Any professional who is attempting to assist in the administration of the estate must, at the very least, recognize how to spot these issues and to deal with them. 1. Determining the Continuation of Decedent’s Business Special issues arise when […]

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Medicaid Planning by New Jersey Guardians

The issue of whether or not guardians can undertake Medicaid planning on behalf of their wards has come to the forefront of New  Jersey probate litigation in the past two decades. Commencing in 1995, many of New  Jersey’s Superior Courts began to recognize and permit guardians to transfer assets in order to expedite their wards’ eligibility for […]

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