The care of an elderly parent can present an existential threat to family harmony and unity even in the closest of families. Even in large families where caregiving responsibilities can ostensibly be shared equitably, it is not uncommon for one or more children to shoulder much more of the burden than the others. » Read More
In a previous blog post, we discussed the fact that New Jersey law has trended away from a strict interpretation of what it takes to have a valid Will. For example, a Will is valid in New Jersey if the signature and material portions of the document are in the decedent’s handwriting, a so-called “Holographic Will.” » Read More
You don’t have to be a lawyer to be familiar with the concept of a “Statute of Limitations.” In other words, legal rights must be asserted within a reasonable time frame. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
Prior blog posts (here and here) have addressed this issue in the context of estates and trusts. » Read More
Asserting rights as a beneficiary of an estate or trust involves due diligence designed to ensure that you receive exactly what you are entitled to. That process would not be complete without assurance that the applicable estate or inheritance taxes being paid are no more than the legal minimum. » Read More
Previous blog posts – like this one and this one – have described the limits of a Will. Wills dispose of assets titled solely in the name of the decedent (the person who died). That’s it. They do not control the disposition of assets that pass by beneficiary designation, such as retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k)’s, annuities, etc.) » Read More
A prior blog post addressed circumstances in which an “Irrevocable Trust” can be modified or terminated under the recently-enacted Uniform Trust Code. We were fortunate enough to assist a client in successfully terminating a trust in her favor under the Trust Code. » Read More
As discussed in a previous blog post, trusts are widely misunderstood as a tool for the uber-wealthy, when in fact they are an integral part of most estate plans, from the simplest to the most complex.
To review, any trust has three players: a Settlor, a Trustee and a Beneficiary. » Read More
It might be hard to believe, but amounts received as a gift or inheritance are, regardless of amount, not subject to income tax. Really.
Now, myriad other taxes imposed on lifetime and testamentary transfers, such as Federal and New Jersey Estate Tax, Federal Gift Tax, New Jersey Inheritance Tax, or Federal Generation Skipping Transfer Tax might have taken a bite out along the way, but the amount that a beneficiary ultimately receives from an estate or trust is not subject to income tax. » Read More
Life insurance can be a significant portion of a person’s assets, and it is important for the policyholder to know that the benefit will be distributed in accordance with his or her wishes. As with many types of assets, however, there are common misconceptions about life insurance. » Read More