Your real estate taxes are based upon the assessed value of your property.  Every year, the municipal tax assessor determines the value of your home, with the annual real estate assessment.  Your assessment includes two parts:  the value of the land, and the value of the building, for a total assessed value.  The assessment is…

Making an offer on a home is an exciting milestone.  Ideally, your potential home doesn’t need more work than meets the eye, your loan will sail through underwriting, and the records of title for the home, and its sellers, are “clear.”  Ideally, movers will be scheduled and closing will occur on time, and you will…

New Jersey Chief Justice, Stuart Rabner, announced a state-wide program to monitor court appointed guardians and their care of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and disabled who rely on legal guardians to manage their financial ad health-related decisions. The plan calls for volunteers who will be coordinated by county surrogate offices. “The Guardianship…

Many people leave a percentage of their estate, instead of a specific dollar amount, to one or more charities in their Last Wills and Testament. Under New Jersey law, when a percentage of the estate is left to a charity, the State Attorney General’s office is required to review the estate accounting to be sure…

The Consumer Fraud Act regulates home improvements in cumulative excess of $500.00 provided on existing residential properties.  A home improvement provider that is required to comply with these administrative and business practices, but fails to do so, is strictly liable even for unknowing oversights, with no legal defenses.   Establishing sound business practices and utilizing properly…

In 2005, a married couple signed a contact with a builder to purchase a unit in a condominium building that was being developed in a luxury resort community.  The contract specified that the condominium would be built within two years, although the contract included a “force majeure” provision that allowed for delays under certain circumstances. …

Hurricane Katrina destroyed Merlin’s house in August of 2005.  About two weeks before Katrina hit, he had missed a deadline to pay a premium to keep his flood insurance policy in effect for 2005 to 2006.  After Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency extended a grace period of 90 days for paying premiums to keep…

The sign on the glass door reads “Elder Law Attorney.” You peer through that door but the office is empty–where is the elder law attorney? He is probably in the community making a house call–yes, elder law attorneys still make house calls. A paralegal and the elder law attorney first witnessed a dying man sign…

Remarkably, Congress did not change the Federal Estate Tax law, as we had all predicted.  This means that, for 2010, there is no Federal Estate Tax.   This is the first time since 1916 that there has been no estate tax.   Just remember that, next year, unless Congress acts, estates in excess of $1 million will…

Being an Elder Care attorney for over fifteen years, I have seen so many people in anguish over caring for their aging parents. Many times, I have heard men and women say, “The pressure is killing me.” Most of the time, it is the women who are the caregivers in the family whether it is…