Having Assets in Multiple States

Today, it is common for retirees to have residences in multiple states.  Some choose to keep his or her family home and acquire a small home in Florida to visit during the cold months.  When a person who owns residences or financial accounts in two different states passes, an ancillary probate proceeding must be commenced where the other real property is located.  An ancillary proceeding is an administrative proceeding that is required in addition to the original probate process of a Last Will & Testament. Usually, this administrative proceeding is required because a person owns real property outside of his or her home state.

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Difference Between A Gross Taxable Estate And Probate Estate

A gross taxable estate includes assets that maintain an interest upon an individual’s death, regardless of whether the assets pass by way of a last will and testament. A gross taxable estate includes gifts made during an individual’s lifetime that exceed $14,000 per person per year. Also, a gross taxable estate includes property transferred during a person’s life that he or she retains an interest in. This means that, if the property is transferred to another individual but one retained a life estate in the property, then it is part of the gross taxable estate. Also, the interest that is payable upon someone’s death, such as a property or life insurance policy, may be deemed as part of the gross taxable estate.

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It Is Best To Have An Attorney Execute A Health Care Proxy

A health care proxy is a signed document that gives an agent or agents the power to make medical decisions for someone in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. Oftentimes, many people ask whether or not an attorney is required to sign a health care proxy for it to be valid. The answer to that question is no. An attorney is not required to sign a health care proxy. In order for a health care proxy to be valid, two adult witnesses must sign it. It is worth noting that a named health care agent cannot be a witness. In addition, it is important to name alternate agents in the event that the first agent is unable, unavailable, or unwilling to act.

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The Importance of Updating Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations

Many estate-planning mistakes involve retirement accounts. If you or a loved one has rolled over an employer sponsored 401(k) plan into an existing IRA, it is imperative that you update the beneficiary designation form that is on file. The failure to do so may result in an unintended beneficiary. Many individuals unintentionally fail to update the intended beneficiary on file in accordance with life situations such as divorce, death, or birth of a family member or another loved one.

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How Do Criminal Convictions Affect Child Custody in New Jersey?

When couples who have a child or children divorce, one of the most important decisions that will be made is which party will get custody. In New Jersey, there are several types of child custody, including temporary, sole, joint, and split. When a child custody dispute is brought before a New Jersey family court, a judge will look into a number of factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child or children. Some of the factors to be considered are the physical safety of the child or children and fitness of each parent. Due to the fact that character and propensities are relevant to determining these factors, a judge may find a parent’s criminal history to be a significant factor in child custody proceedings.

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Evaluation Time: Have An Advocate Present

A home evaluation is conducted by a Managed Long Term Care Company (MLTCC) after an individual has been approved for Community Medicaid by the Department of Social Services. The evaluation process can be complex and may result in difficulty due to the MLTCC failing to award a Medicaid recipient with sufficient hours. An evaluation by a MLTCC is extremely important, because it is the determining factor for which benefits a recipient is entitled to through the Medicaid program

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Funding An Irrevocable Trust Sooner Than Later

An asset is owned by a trust once it is transferred into the trust that was created. This is known as funding the trust. The transfer of assets into a trust can occur in a number of ways depending on the type of asset. For Medicaid purposes the five-year look back period begins one month after an asset is placed in the trust. This means that if a property deed is transferred into the trust in December, the five-year look back period begins in January and ends five years from that date. Every time a new asset is placed in the trust a new five-year look back period will begin for that specific asset, not for all the assets in the trust.

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New Jersey Alimony Reform

In September 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the Alimony Reform Act into law, which clarified areas of alimony and extended rights to payers. Although the act mainly applies to future divorces, those who are divorced and have a legitimate reason, such as loss of income, illness, or retirement, may be able to modify their alimony under the new law. Additionally, the term “permanent alimony” has been replaced with “open durational alimony.”

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Placing Property In A Revocable Trust

A common estate planning mistake occurs when individuals own or acquire property outside of a trust. This can lead to unintended tax consequences and exposing property to probate or creditors.

Placing property in a revocable trust provides benefits such as allowing assets to avoid the probate process. In addition, by placing property in a revocable trust, it will allow family members or loved ones to have control over the assets in the event that the creator of the trust becomes incapacitated. Otherwise, a court may need to appoint a guardian.

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Taking On The Role Of “Agent” In A Power Of Attorney

It may be a big undertaking when obtaining a power of attorney for a family member or loved one. A power of attorney provides authority to an agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. The “principal” is the person for whom an individual is acting as power of attorney. The “agent” is the individual responsible for carrying out the wishes of the “principal.”

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