Changes to Legal Documents in light of the Coronavirus pandemic

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, all clients should immediately review their healthcare-related documents including living will, healthcare proxy, and HIPAA release.   Most client advisors are familiar with the need to have a current document that reflects the client’s

Planning in the Time of Coronavirus

The coronavirus is an illness that we cannot ignore. Older adults are especially vulnerable and those who have an underlying issue such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory conditions. Many such individuals are in a position of responsibility and wealth.

Planning for Dependent (or not Independent) Family Members

One in four Americans has some form of disability. In our law firm’s client base, it is very common to have a family member that is not entirely able to live independently. Even worse, adults with disabilities are living far

Reasonable Cause Defense Denied: FBAR Penalties Assessed by Court

  In the recent 2019 case U.S. v. Ram Agrawal, a US District Court rejected a taxpayer’s reasonable cause defense against foreign bank account reports (FBARs) penalties. It ruled in favor of the government to collect FBAR penalties for the

How To Limit An Executor’s Personal Liability For A Decedent’s Unpaid Taxes

Being an executor can often be a demanding and thankless task. In addition to coping with the loss of a close friend or family member, executors are routinely charged with navigating estate plans through an unfamiliar and intimidating course of

Individuals with disabilities can create their own self-settled trusts

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act provides that individuals with disabilities can now create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others. The Act was included as Section 5007 of the 21st Century Cures Act which was signed into law

5 Estate Planning Tips to Avoid Disputes

Insert a no-contest clause When a will contest seems likely, an in terrorem clause may be beneficial. An in terrorem clause, also known as a “no-contest” clause, generally provides that a bequest will fail if the beneficiary initiates or participates

Happy Birthday Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure!

The Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure (SFCP) was “born” two years old.  Two years ago the IRS publicly announced the SFCP, which has been used by many non-compliant US taxpayers with the disclosure of foreign assets. SFCP has two sub-programs: one

New Trust Law Enacted in New Jersey

On January 19, 2016, the New Jersey Uniform Trust Code (NJUTC) was enacted into law.  The new law will take effect on July 17, 2016.  The new law, based in part on model legislation prepared by the Uniform Law Commission,

New IRS Forms Informs Beneficiaries of Asset Basis Values

Instructions to IRS Form 8971 for reporting the asset basis of estates have now been finalized. Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent, tells estate executors and others required to file a Form 706 how to report

The IRS publishes new proposed regulations for tax on transfers from covered expatriates

The IRS published new proposed regulations last week regarding the tax on gifts and bequests from covered expatriates last week. Section 2801 basically provides that if a U.S. citizen or resident receives a “covered gift” or “covered bequest,” a gift

Pre-immigration estate planning

Estate planning is essential for foreign nationals who are or will become subject to estate or gift taxation by the United States. The nature and extent of pre-immigration estate planning will depend upon whether the foreign national will reside in

Benefits of an IRA Trust

If you have assets valued at $100,000 or more in an IRA or retirement account, then you should consider setting up a special type of trust that’s designed to be the beneficiary of your IRA for the following reasons: Stretch

Mobility of Estate Plan Documents

Many clients ask if they must re-do their estate plan when they move to a different state.  The answer is generally “no”.  A Will made in New Jersey or New York or Florida is likely going to be “valid” in

Increase in the annual gift tax exclusion to $14,000

The IRS recently increased the annual gift tax exclusion from $13k to $14K in 2013. The annual gift tax exclusion is the amount you and your spouse can each gift to anyone without dipping into your lifetime gift tax exclusion.

Uncertainty About The Future Of The Gift And Estate Tax Laws Will Continue

Even if Congress acts to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff,” uncertainty about the future of the gift and estate tax laws will continue. Despite this uncertainty, meaningful estate planning goals can be achieved. Estate planning is only partly about tax. Whatever

Short Lived Planning Opportunities for the Rest of 2012

The current gift tax exclusion is scheduled to expire at midnight on December 31, 2012, bringing to an end the highest exemptions ever seen. Under current law for 2012, each person has the ability to gift or dispose of assets

A limited opportunity for generous gift tax exclusions

The 2010 Tax Act is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012, at which time under current law the opportunities afforded under the 2010 Act will be lost. This article explores various tax planning opportunities created under the 2010 Act.

Six Estate Planning Myths

The most time-consuming aspect of estate planning is educating clients and dispelling common misconceptions that most people have regarding Wills, Trusts, Estate Taxes and Probate. Over the years, we have identified six recurring misconceptions which many of our clients carry

Top 7 Costly Estate Planning Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

1. Where There Is A “Will” Is There Is A Way? The biggest mistake is the failure to plan, having the wrong plan or even having an outdated plan. Everyone can benefit from a will or some other form of

Estate Planning For Women

Estate planning affects women more profoundly, so they should take charge of this process, or at least be equal participants. Among Americans 65 and older, 42% of women, but just 14% of men, are widowed. Women’s longer life expectancy, combined with  their tendency

Estate Planning in the Electronic Age

With the ever-growing  presence of online and electronic documents, records and accounts, it is becoming  essential to keep track of your passwords.   Consumers have had access to military grade cryptography for decades,  and while it offers an amazing level of

Charitable Remainder Trust: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Charitable Remainder Trust? A Charitable Remainder Trust is a special tax-exempt irrevocable trust arrangement written to comply with federal tax laws and regulations. You transfer cash or assets (especially appreciated assets) to the trust and may

Passwords and Estate Planning

The best way to address concerns raised by assets in the electronic age from an estate planning and estate administration perspective is to employ some practical advice: •Each spouse keeps a spreadsheet of Institution Name, Website, Account Number, User Name,

Adult Children Need Estate Planning Too

The greatest fear for any parent is hearing that their child is having a medical emergency. Whether it be a car accident or a physical or mental catastrophe, the parents are immediately notified and rush into action. Did you know

Probate of Estates in New Jersey

Estate administration in New Jersey is the process by which a deceased person’s property, known as the ‘estate,’ is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will). Estate administration encompasses all assets of the decedent

Special Needs Planning Mistakes

1. Disinheriting the child. When a special needs child is disinherited, that child will need to depend on government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  While these programs can be greatly beneficial, it is not wise to

Latest Medicaid Information for New Jersey for 2011

Protections for the Community Spouse: Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA): Minimum: $21,912 Maximum: $109,560 Increased CSRA: Permitted. New Jersey follows the income-first rule. Annuities: Actuarially sound annuities are not permitted. Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance: Minimum: $1,821.25 Maximum: $2,739 Transfers: Average

How to Limit a Executor’s Personal Liability for Taxes

There are three risk-management tools every probate lawyer needs to know...