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December 2012 Archives

Make estate planning your New Year's resolution

With the New Year almost upon us, many people will be making resolutions to lose weight, stop procrastinating, eat healthier, stop smoking, and so on. Maybe, just maybe, some people out there will also be planning on finally getting around to getting their affairs in order and doing some estate planning.

Estate of Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light," settles will dispute outside court

An ongoing legal dispute over the estate of famous painter Thomas Kinkade has been settled, putting an end to months of legal challenges. Thomas Kinkade, known for his unique painting style involving generous use of light, died in April, leaving behind an unclear estate plan for his family to deal with. At the time of his death, Kinkade was estranged from his wife of 30 years, and the two were working out a divorce. His live-in girlfriend was brought into the dispute by virtue of two holographic wills Kinkade left behind.

No estate planning and will means first cousin inherits fortune

If something were to happen to you, do you know who would get your possessions and money? You may have ideas as to who should receive what, but unless there are specific legal documents in place, your estate will be divided by New Jersey's intestacy laws. This generally means that your property or the money obtained from selling your property will go to your nearest relatives, regardless of whether you want it to or not.

Make sure your loved ones know what your final wishes are now

Many of us in New Jersey have some very specific requests for the ends of our lives, but if we want them fulfilled, we have to let our families and loved ones know about them now. It is important to work with both an estate planning attorney and family members to ensure that our final wishes are not ignored.

Will fiscal cliff deal raise the estate tax?

The fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff. Once more: the fiscal cliff. It's on everyone's lips lately, and political leaders in the U.S. are working to avoid it. As for a comprehensive solution, predictably Republicans and Democrats disagree. But there is one major aspect of President Obama's proposal that has some members of his own party bristling: the idea of raising the estate tax.

How to reduce a spouse's and the children's estate-tax liability?

Say you have a second spouse, and you want to ensure that he or she receives a significant amount of your estate after you die. Seems simple enough, right? Just include in your will the amount you want your spouse to inherit.

Creating a durable power of attorney in New Jersey - when and why?

In the event that something like Alzheimer's disease occurs to you and you are unable to act adequately on your own behalf, do you have the protections in place to safeguard your desires for your New Jersey estate and your affairs? If not, you should seek to create a durable power of attorney to avoid having the courts appoint a guardian on your behalf.

Hurricane Sandy debacle for elderly in nursing homes

Troubling news is coming out of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor 'easterner that have recently hammered New Jersey and the Eastern seaboard. It appears that those in most need of assistance evacuating the storms and also most likely to suffer due to the cold and lack of provisions have in many ways been left to fend for themselves.