Category Archives: Trusts & Estates

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Review Your Beneficiary Designations

Posted in Trusts & Estates

I was recently contacted by a fraternal organization regarding an estate that I represented. The decedent, who was in his 80’s when he died, had an insurance policy through the organization that had been issued when he was 16! His parents were the named beneficiaries. The estate is able to collect the insurance proceeds since… Continue Reading

Year End Giving Considerations

Posted in Trusts & Estates

I have co-authored this blog with Steven L. Friedman, Esq., a colleague of mine at Stark & Stark. While holiday parties and shopping fill your schedule, consider setting aside time to evaluate year-end tax planning. This is the season for giving, and if giving does not factor into your current tax strategy, it could be… Continue Reading

Benefits and Drawbacks of the NJ Medicaid Qualified Income Trust

Posted in News & Events, Stark News, Trusts & Estates

Stark & Stark Shareholder, Steve Friedman, Esq., Chair of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Department, was interviewed by New Jersey Public Television’s NJTV News to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the New Jersey Medicaid Qualified Income Trust. Until now, individuals with income above the Medicaid Cap ($2,163 in 2014) were only eligible for Medicaid… Continue Reading

IRS Announces Inflation Adjustments Affecting Estates and Trusts

Posted in Trusts & Estates

Many key Estate and Gift Tax exemptions and exclusions are indexed for inflation by the IRS. The IRS recently released Rev. Proc. 2014-61 which provides for the following modifications for these key exemptions and exclusions: Unified Credit for Estate Tax: $5,430,000 for decedents dying in 2015[1] Annual Exclusion Gifts: $14,000[2] Annual Exclusion Gifts for Non-Citizen… Continue Reading

Future Care for Your Special Needs Child

Posted in Trusts & Estates

Like many of you who may be reading this blog, I have experienced the trauma of having a child diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum. This blog is not limited to those who have children within the Autism Spectrum, as the advice I am providing is also applicable to other types of diagnoses which might render your child a special needs child.

What Can I Do If Someone Takes My Inheritance?

Posted in Probate Litigation, Trusts & Estates

Undue influence claims are more likely in families suffering from internal conflict, or where family members are excluded. Unfortunately, the proliferation of do-it-yourself estate planning and access to beneficiary designations has made it even easier to deprive others of their inheritance. If you are the victim of inheritance fraud you have rights and need to take immediate action to protect your inheritance.

The Unintended Consequences of A Do-it-Yourself Estate Plan

Posted in Trusts & Estates

A do-it-yourself estate plan can lead to a number of unintended consequences as demonstrated by a recent Florida Supreme Court case, Aldrich v. Basile. In this case, Ms. Ann Aldrich wrote her own Will on a pre-printed legal form. Ms. Aldrich specifically listed each item of her property in her Will, including the account numbers for her financial accounts. The Will left each item of property to Ms. Aldrich’s sister, Mary Jane Eaton; and if Ms. Eaton did not survive, then Mr. James Aldrich was designated as the alternate beneficiary.