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,…

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…

Can the terms of a Will be changed to make them “fair”?  Let’s say that a parent has died.  Under the terms of the parent’s Will, one of four children is disinherited.  The child and parent did not get along, and, for good reason.  The parent was a bit unreasonable in the eyes of all…

“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…

Probating an estate is one of life’s duties for many of us. At some point, you may be called upon to handle a loved-one’s estate. It just happens. Whether being named as “Executor” in a will, or stepping forward to act as “Administrator” where no last will was prepared, the “Personal Representative” will be required…

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…

In New Jersey, and many other states, a surviving spouse has a right to one-third of a deceased spouse’s estate, despite provisions in the Will to the contrary. In other words, a you may disinherit your spouse in your last will, but he or she can assert the statutory elective share and still obtain one-third…

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…