The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Act) signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017 made sweeping changes that affect individuals, businesses, trusts and estates.  This alert focuses on the impact of the Act on estate planning. Continue Reading Estate Planning is Still Important Even with the Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

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With the ringing in of the New Year, residents of New Jersey woke up not only to a new federal tax law, but also to a change in the New Jersey Estate Tax. The estates of individuals dying on or after January 1, 2018 will not be subject to a New Jersey Estate Tax. The phase out of the New Jersey Estate Tax however does not mean estate planning is no longer necessary. Tax planning has always been only one cog in the wheel of estate planning.
Continue Reading New Jersey: Estate Planning Without An Estate Tax

An often-overlooked step in the estate planning process is determining how you want the world to celebrate your life and determining your final resting place.  If not addressed, conflict may occur because different loved ones have different opinions.  Continue Reading Who Determines How to Celebrate Your Life and the Disposition of You When You Die?

 

A simple gift you can give to your family is letting them know where to find your original will. While it is possible to probate a copy, it is much more difficult and time-consuming.  During the initial mourning period, people may find it overwhelming to face the many tasks required of those left behind.  After the end of life celebration, the legal and financial administrative bureaucracy kicks in and knowing where to find the will allows this process to start with one less headache.  Sharing the location of your original will does not mean you must reveal the contents of the will.  While disclosing the content is recommended for numerous reasons that we will explore in future blogs, it is not required.  What is necessary, however to ensure your wishes are fulfilled is knowing where your will can be found. Continue Reading Where is my Loved One’s Will?

Will contests are a sad reality and while there is no guarantee, with proper planning a contest may be avoided.  A will contest occurs when a disgruntled potential beneficiary of an estate challenges the validity of a Will.  A will contest is more likely to occur in blended families, same-sex relationships, when a child is disinherited or when the children are not treated equally.    The following are a few points that will help safe guard against a disgruntled potential beneficiary. Continue Reading Proper Estate Planning May Prevent a Will Contest

A recent survey found that nearly 50% of individuals with children do not have a Will and over 40% of individuals over the age of 55 do not have one.  Whether a person is 18 or 98 with net assets of $200,000 or $20 million, an estate plan is one of the best gifts we can give to our families.  I like to think of an estate plan in terms similar to building our home – everyone wants a solid and complete home.  Continue Reading Getting Your House in Order: Estate Planning is for Everyone