Senate Approves Sandy Bill While Foreclosure Filings Are On the Rise In New Jersey

A bill to protect Sandy victims from foreclosure was approved by the State Senate on December 20, 2016. Earlier this year, the assembly had approved the bill. The bill has now reached Governor Chris Christie for approval and may offer temporary foreclosure protection to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed many homes.

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Self-Settled Trusts Available for Individuals with Disabilities

By adding two words (“the individual”) from the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015 to an existing statute, special needs individuals are now able to create their own self-settled special needs trust. President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act approving the change and opening the door for individuals who previously could not open a special needs trust on their own.

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New Jersey Makes Changes to Uniform Trust Code

Effective July 17, 2016 New Jersey officially enacted the revised Uniform Trust Code. The act, which was introduced by state Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Peter J. Barnes, III, applies to “express trusts, charitable or noncharitable, and trusts created pursuant to a statute, judgment, or decree that requires the trust to be administered in the manner of an express trust.

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Court Rules Parent Must Pay Additional Child Support for a Gifted Child

The Ocean City Superior Court has held that a parent in a divorce proceeding may be required to pay additional child support if there is a clear showing that the child is gifted or talented. Lawrence Jones, the Superior Court Judge assigned to the case, recognized that the state’s current child support guidelines give no indication of how to deal with the additional costs associated with the needs of a gifted or talented child.

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Mortgage Modification Agreement is a Valid Contract

Too often homeowners seeking mortgage modifications comply with the requirements of a trial modification, only to find that their mortgage company has refused to modify the mortgage terms. The case of Bloc v. Seneca Mortgage Servicing, could be the beginning of the end of such a frustrating process for homeowners.

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New Jersey Estate Tax Repeal: Is it now better to die in New Jersey than Florida?

JD Supra reports that on October 14th, Governor Christie signed a new law that will remove the New Jersey estate tax. The law will be implemented in a three-year process. Beginning in 2016 New Jersey decedents will not be taxed on an estate less than $675,000. Beginning January 1, 2017, there will be no tax on decedents if their taxable estates are less than two-million dollars. On January 1, 2018 the New Jersey estate tax will be eliminated altogether. The agreement to repeal the estate tax, comes as a compromise to an increase of the New Jersey gas tax by twenty-three cents per gallon. Continue reading New Jersey Estate Tax Repeal: Is it now better to die in New Jersey than Florida?

What Happens to Student Loan Debt after You Die or Become Disabled?

If you die or become disabled unexpectedly while carrying student loan debt, it becomes even more difficult to pay it off. What happens to you were to die or become disabled with this debt? With students carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt after graduation, a tragic life event can leave the borrower and/or their family with a mountain of debt that may be impossible to pay off. Some may try to write it off, but bankruptcy regulations forbid them from doing so, barring extreme circumstances.

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Law Enforcement Officers Trained on Elder Abuse

On September 8th and 9th 2016, more than 140 New Jersey law enforcement officers attended a conference held by the Middlesex County Prosecutors office aimed at training the officers in elder abuse prevention. The two-day conference headlined with over twenty guest speakers was held at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayerville. NJToday reported that officers from every one of the 28 police agencies within Middlesex county, along with officers from the Piscataway Police Department attended the conference.

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Congress Seeks to Help Disabled Save for the Future

DisabilityScoop reported that Congress is working on legislation that would help people with disabilities put away money and still keep their benefits.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance approved updates to the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The current ABLE Act, which became law two years ago, allows those with disabilities to establish special accounts in which they can put away up to $100,000 tax-free, without losing their Social Security and government benefits. Currently, ABLE participants can deposit up to $14,000 a year without facing any tax liabilities; the proposed Senate legislation is looking to raise the cap.

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New Jersey Looks to Expand Medicaid Waiver Program

NJSpotlight.com is reporting that the state of New Jersey is seeking permission from the federal government to expand its Medicaid waiver program for another five years. The program, which began four years ago and is expected to operate until June 2017, is currently being provided to Medicaid patients who are receiving long-term care and other services. Continue reading New Jersey Looks to Expand Medicaid Waiver Program

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