Sometimes You Don’t Want To Be Number One – New Jersey Leads Combined Federal & State Death Tax Rates

  One of the first consequences of the new estate tax law for 2011, the one raising the federal exemption amount to $5 million for an individual, was that financial advisors and planners were saying that "estate tax planning was OVER." There was going to be no need to think about estate taxes ever again[...]

My 7 year old gives a warning, and I get the point – eventually.

The project looked simple enough. I had no reason to believe that, in 2008, I would set a chain of events in motion that would find me across an examination table, in full moon, awaiting the business end of a hypodermic needle filled with steroids.Plants had begun to grow over my air conditioning condenser, threatening[...]

Daddy, Can I Have An Apartment In The City?

One of the joys of having some success in life is your ability to do things for people you love — probably your children, first of all. For some New Jersey parents, that might include the ability to buy an apartment in the City (New York City) for their kids. What, you may be wondering,[...]

The Self-Made Can Make It Again

When I talk to clients about the best way to leave assets for the next generation, I try to impress upon then the idea that inherited money feels different than money that is earned. It's like Monopoly money, which is to say that it seems that it exists for play. Perhaps that's the reason why[...]

Why Estate Plans Fail

A common misperception about estate planning is that it is a "set it and forget it" activity. Often listed as a to-do on a long checklist of prudent adult responsibilities, creating a Will or naming guardians is a task that tends to be postponed year-to-year until something happens that causes you to visit an estate[...]

Victor Medina Elected President of the American Association of Trust, Estate & Elder Law Attorneys

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2011 Victor J. Medina, Esq. Elected President of the American Association of Trust, Estate & Elder Law Attorneys Pennington, New Jersey, March 25, 2011 — Victor Medina, Managing Partner for the Medina Law Group, has been elected President of the American Association of Trust, Estate & Elder Law Attorneys[...]

Estate Tax Gambler’s Anonymous

One of the topics I discuss in my initial client meetings is the federal estate tax and its future. Over the years, the discussion has had to change as the landscape of federal estate tax changes. I'm often asked what I think Congress will do in the future with the estate tax…and the truth is…I[...]

Free Elder Law Advice: What’s The Motivation?

There's an old acting joke whereby actors look to directors to learn, "What's my motivation for this scene?" I often help clients understand, as they are bombarded with advice from people on the issue of VA benefits and Medicaid, what the motivation of the people giving advice is. There are two types of institutions who[...]

The VA Benefits Medicaid Ticking Time Bomb

The VA Aid and Attendance program – where veterans and their surviving spouses can receive a special pension to cover medical expenses – has certain financial eligibility requirements, which include an income and asset test. In short, qualifying applicants cannot own more than a certain level of assets (based in part on their life expectancy).[...]

Has Estate Planning Become Obsolete With The New Estate Tax Law?

Last month, Congress passed a broad tax law that included estate tax provisions increasing exemption amounts to $5 million per person. The new law, now known by an acronym that, if I write it here, will have you fleeing to another site — it's that boring — also includes a provision that allows an individual[...]

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