Guardianship is a legal decision made by a court. The decision made is that a particular person has become incapacitated. He or she can no longer make decisions about him or herself. The Court also appoints a “guardian” to make decisions for the person it deems incapacitated. This guardian is answerable to the Court. Guardians…

Invitations to join our 2018 Client Care Program will be going out to our estate planning clients shortly. Client Care Program/Shanahan & Voigt SV Law’s client care program has been running since 2012. The program is a way for the firm to keep in contact with clients for whom we have written wills, trusts, and…

Inheritance tax will be the last remaining “death tax” In New Jersey, as of January 1, 2018. On that date, the state’s estate tax will disappear. New Jersey Inheritance Tax   The “Transfer Inheritance Tax” is assessed against inheritances received by certain classes of people.  There are four classes: Class A beneficiaries: father, mother, grandparents, children,…

POLST, or Physician’s Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, is a relatively new document which may be more appropriate for a patient than the traditional “DNR” or do not resuscitate, order at a hospital. It is certainly more powerful than a living will, but is only to be used when a person has a compromised medical…

The Facebook “Hard Questions” blog recently addressed the issue of what should happen to people’s online identity when they die.  https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/08/what-should-happen-to-online-identity/ This is a wonderful article expressing the emotional and practical issues surrounding one’s online postings after death and how, at least one company is grappling with solutions, while waiting for the law to catch…

“Control over my funeral” is becoming a developing issue in my practice.  Funeral directors have asked me to sign statements that I have such authority when I have buried my wards as a court appointed guardian.  Now, family survivors are disagreeing over the disposition of a loved-one’s remains, and inquiries are being made about the…

Hidden cameras are now available to address the significant increase in elder abuse complaints against home health aides. New Jersey has decided to expand its hidden camera program that began in December 2016. It has been very successful in catching abusers, both among in-home caregivers, and those in nursing homes. Findings By The New Jersey…

By: Robert J. Shanahan, Jr., Esq. Nursing home residents rights–they do have them. People do not lose their rights merely because their place of residence has changed to a nursing home. New Jersey law sets a list of rights for nursing home residents. The nursing home administrator will provide residents with written notice of those rights…

By Robert J. Shanahan, Jr., Esq. Avoid probate! There are many books, and much advice, about how to avoid probate by creating a living revocable trust, instead of a last will and testament. This trust is created during your lifetime. A trust document is prepared, appointing the drafter as the trustee, and naming a successor…

You could knock me over with a feather. I never thought I would live to see the day when the New Jersey Estate Tax would be repealed, but both houses of the legislature in Trenton passed a repeal bill, and Governor Christie signed it. (www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/njestatetax.shtml) The New Jersey Estate Tax is Phased Out Over Two…