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”

Transferring Guardianship Across State Lines

guardianship lawyer New JerseyDue to economic pressures, weather, and employment opportunities, more Northeast residents are looking to move out of state. According to a recent LendingTree study, as many as 17.5% of New Jersey residents are looking to move out of state. What is New Jersey residents’ most common destination state of choice? Florida. Regardless of whether or not you’re looking to move to the sunshine state or another state of choice, it is important to determine how the move will affect legal relationships that were established in New Jersey such as guardianship of another person. Those who have established a guardianship and are looking to move out of state should seek the guidance of an experienced New Jersey guardianship lawyer who can advise them of their legal rights and help guide them through the transition. Continue reading “Transferring Guardianship Across State Lines”

The Visitation Rights of Grandparents in New Jersey

grandparent visitation rights New JerseyWhen it comes to things like child support, custody, and visitation, most people tend to think only of the rights of that child’s parents. Typically, the rights of other loved ones in that child’s life are not very well-known generally because the concept that grandparents—and others with significant relations to the child such as siblings—should have the right to contact and visit that child has only been established in the last two decades. Continue reading “The Visitation Rights of Grandparents in New Jersey”

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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Changes To New Jersey Child Support Laws

The term “child support” gives the general implication that the support is intended for adolescents up until they reach the age of emancipation. However, up until recent years, this was not the case in New Jersey. Prior to recent legislation, many parents would continue to provide child support long after the child reached the age of 18, or would terminate the payments themselves without obtaining a court order. The New Jersey legislature recognized the issue and in 2016 passed a legislation that allows for the termination of child support when the child turns 19 years old. On February 1, 2017, the law went into effect in New Jersey. The law not only applies to future child support orders but existing orders as well.

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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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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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