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Taxation and DOMA

The United States Supreme Court has handed down its much-anticipated decision on the fate of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the ruling has many implications for taxpayers. The Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA in Windsor v. U.S., June 26, 2013, opening the door for the federal government to extend to same-sex married couples the same benefits available to opposite-sex married couples, including a host of tax-related benefits.

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DDD and Medicaid

If a recipient needs services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), that recipient must qualify for Medicaid.   The changes enacted have affected many DDD recipients.

Any new DDD application is required to meet the functional criteria and have Medicaid eligibility before they can begin receiving any services. If a person already receives DDD benefits but has not secured Medicaid, that individual must become Medicaid eligible to ensure continuation of current services and prior to receiving any new service.

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New Jersey Estate Tax

In New Jersey, any estate larger than $675,000 is subject to the New Jersey Estate Tax.

A New Jersey estate tax return, Form IT Estate, must be filed if the decedent’s gross estate plus adjusted taxable gifts exceeds $675,000 within 9 months of date of death. The New Jersey estate tax is either the maximum credit for state inheritance, estate, succession or legacy taxes allowable under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code in effect on December 31, 2001 (this is called the “Form 706 Method”), or an amount determined pursuant to the Simplified Tax System prescribed by the Director, Division of Taxation (this is called the “Simplified Form Method”).

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Social Media and Texts as Evidence

Typically, a victim in a Domestic Violence matter wants to introduce threatening texts or facebook posts. They bring no documentary evidence with them, only it is on the person’s cell phone. In New Jersey, the permanent restraining order date is set for 10 days after the entry of the temporary restraining order.   What is a Judge supposed to do.   Have the victim read the material on the cell phone.

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Miller Trusts

Effective December 1, 2014, in order to qualify for Medicaid, the applicant whose income exceeds the monthly income cap under the Medicaid program must create a Miller Trust. The excess monthly income is essentially placed into a self-created Miller Trust and paid directly to the nursing home each month by the designated trustee.

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ABLE Act

On December 19, 2014, the President signed into law the Achieving a Better Life (ABLE) Act of 2014, which allows for disabled persons to have limited savings accounts, without jeopardizing any governmental benefits received by that disabled person.   The Treasury is to create regulations with respect to ABLE act accounts.   The ABLE account is intended to be similar to a 529 Plan.   There is a limit on what can be contributed to the account, but the disabled person would have the ability to withdraw monies from the account to meet his or her needs on an on-going basis.

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College Education Expenses

When divorced parties disagree as to contribution for college education expenses, one party will make application to the Court to enforce the settlement agreements. Court applications for contribution to college education expenses have recently changed.   a request has been made for college or post-secondary school contribution, the party must attach all relevant information pertaining to that request.

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