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Category Archives: Estate Planning

“ICE” (In Case of Emergency) Advice

Old School: My clients know that I recommend keeping a card with you at all times that contains all your important personal and medical information in case of emergency. EMTs and paramedics are trained to look for emergency cards in the following places: 1 – Automobile – Glove Compartment 2 – Pedestrians – Wallet or Purse […]

Did You Know? 401(k) Loans

Generally, loans taken from 401(k) plans must be repaid within five (5) years in “substantially level payments,” including principal and interest, at least quarterly. Loan repayments may be suspended for a one (1) year leave of absence, but the loan must still be repaid within the original five (5) year period. If the loan was […]

Premarital Wills

NJSA 3B:5-15 provides that if a person had a Will, and later married but did not update the Will, then the surviving spouse a share of the Estate equal to the “intestate share” as though the Testator died intestate. The Legislature assumes that the person forgot to update his or her Will and would want […]

Asset Preservation Tips

Below are some tips to help you preserve and accumulate your assets. Many of these are common sense, but can be easily overlooked. 1. Stay healthy: Live a healthy lifestyle. 2. A “Stitch in Time”: Take care of any problems—medical, financial, personal—as soon as they arise. 3. Review and Pay Insurances: Know what you have […]

Ten Tips When Caring for a Parent or Other Loved One

It is always difficult when your parent, spouse, aunt, uncle, sibling, or other loved one becomes ill or aged. Below are ten helpful tips to help you prepare for, and even avoid, a bad situation. (1) UPDATED AND VALID ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS It is imperative that you review and confirm that your loved one has […]

I have heard that I can “disclaim” inherited assets or property. What does this mean?

A “disclaimer” is the refusal to accept a gift, bequest, or beneficiary designation on an account (e.g., an IRA or life insurance policy). The person making the disclaimer must disclaim this property within nine months and not have accepted any interest in the property. As an example, say Sue is the named beneficiary on her uncle’s […]

In Terrorem Clause/No Contest Clause

You may have heard of an “In Terrorem Clause,” also called “No-Contest Clause.” Joan Rivers had one in her Will.* This is a provision that can be included in a Will which states that if any beneficiary or legal heir of the Estate tries to contest the Will, they will be treated as though they predeceased he […]

Q and A: Non-Probate Property

Q: My relative just passed away. It says in their Will that their IRA goes to me, but I found out that it is passing to someone else instead. What’s going on? A: An IRA account is a type of asset called “non-probate property.” This means that regardless of what is written in a person’s […]

Unclaimed Property (Part 2)

Earlier, we began to discuss how to claim your own Unclaimed Property (See Part 1 on Unclaimed Property here). But what if the owner of the Unclaimed Property is deceased? The process is still very simple, and similar to the process described above, but with some extra documentation required. Be aware that only the Executor or the Administrator of the decedent’s Estate […]

Unclaimed Property (Part 1)

When property (like a bank account, annuity, or life insurance policy) goes untouched or unclaimed for a certain amount of time, it “escheats” to the State. The property still belongs to the original owner, but you now have to go through your state’s Unclaimed Property division in order to claim your property. To find out […]

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