What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?

In the context of estate planning, you might sometimes hear about “living trusts,” also called revocable trusts or inter vivos trusts. Living trusts are useful tools for anyone trying to plan for their future under certain circumstances, as they can allow you to fully marshal all assets of your estate prior to your death in lieu of having a last will and testament. Living trusts can create some security for you and your loved ones, since you direct how the trust will be managed and distributed according to your wishes even when you are not there to take care of your family anymore. Continue reading “What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?”

The Fiduciary Duty of an Estate’s Executor

When a person dies with a last will and testament, it becomes the duty of someone (usually someone dictated within the will itself) to execute the will of the deceased. On the one hand, it is an honor to be trusted with carrying out someone else’s will. On the other hand, it comes with a lot of work and potential liabilities, and it can be helpful to know what you’re getting into, in case you or someone you know is making a decision about who they want to be the executor of their estate. Continue reading “The Fiduciary Duty of an Estate’s Executor”

Writing a Will is a Little Headache Now, to Stop a Big Headache Later

Many people, understandably, don’t want to think about writing a will. Not only does it require confronting uncomfortable subject matter (which is to say, one’s own mortality), but it can be a tedious and lengthy process as well. Going over all your property and figuring out who it should go to when you die is unpleasant in every sense of the word… but it’s not nearly as unpleasant as the alternative.

Continue reading “Writing a Will is a Little Headache Now, to Stop a Big Headache Later”

Including a Grandchild’s College Tuition in Your Estate Plan

estate plan lawyer Wayne New JerseyWhile college education has been seen as not only a rite of passage but also necessary in order to enter into many areas of workforce, the costs associated with it can be overwhelming. In recent years, the costs associated with higher education have come with a hefty price tag and are projected to continue to rise over the next few decades. According to The College Board, in 2017, the average cost for tuition, fees, and room and board for a four-year private college is a whopping $118,000. If the college-cost inflation rate is 3 percent, today’s 8-year-old can expect to pay $265,000 for four years of higher education at a private college in 2028. With the costs of college looming for current and future generations, more grandparents are looking to support their grandchild’s higher education expenses in their estate plans. Continue reading “Including a Grandchild’s College Tuition in Your Estate Plan”

Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place

advanced directives lawyer New JerseyAlzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects cognitive functions, including memory, thinking, and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease and, by 2050, that number will increase to nearly fourteen million. The association claims that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Continue reading “Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place”

Estate Closure Should be Completed by an Experienced Lawyer

estate administration New JerseyIn accordance with the law, an estate is responsible for paying the following with the assets from an estate:

  • Expenses for the decedent’s funeral;
  • Administration expenses, which includes legal fees, probate fees, and appraisals among others;
  • Money owed to the government such as estate and income taxes; and
  • Real property taxes that were accrued prior to the decedent’s death.

Continue reading “Estate Closure Should be Completed by an Experienced Lawyer”

Pre-Plan and Pre-Pay Today!

estate plan lawyer Wayne New JerseyWhile it may be emotional and difficult to think about, pre-planning and pre-paying for a funeral will ensure that your wishes are carried out properly.  In addition, establishing an irrevocable pre-paid funeral trust can also assist with spending down assets in order to become eligible for Chronic Care Medicaid.  An irrevocable pre-paid funeral trust cannot be canceled, changed, or revoked prior to death.  It is worth noting that the money in the trust cannot be refunded even if the funeral costs less than the funds available. Continue reading “Pre-Plan and Pre-Pay Today!”

End-of-Life Conversations Can Be Difficult but Necessary

end-of-life planning lawyerFor many elderly people, discussing and planning for end-of-life situations may be very difficult. However, if you are a child of a parent that has not yet discussed his or her wishes for end-of-life care, you may be able to ease them into the process.  Here are some tips to remember: Continue reading “End-of-Life Conversations Can Be Difficult but Necessary”

New Jersey Court Rejects “Equitable Adoption” Argument in Inheritance Case

inheritance lawyer New JerseyOn November 7, 2018, the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court ruled in favor of a descendant’s only child and against the descendant’s siblings in an inheritance matter. The descendant’s siblings sought to disinherit the child using an “equitable adoption theory.” The court’s decision affirmed the primacy of statutory law over judicial fiat in property succession law. The matter also brought to light the importance of making a Last Will and Testament in order to avoid distribution of assets to undesired beneficiaries. Continue reading “New Jersey Court Rejects “Equitable Adoption” Argument in Inheritance Case”