Michael Crichton’s Will – A Change From The Normal

Finally - FINALLY - we get a report of a celebrity who has passed away with some proper estate planning in place. Read this, and then come back. I apologize that the link is coming from TMZ (a bit exploitive), but it's worth it to show what happens with proper planning. Rather than hear a[...]

Hey – Check Me OUT! – I’m a Faculty Member at Solo Practice University

The Solo Practice University just announced their newest member of the faculty and it turns out....it's me! Yup, here's the substantive copy: Victor Medina is the managing partner of a small law firm run entirely on Mac computers and Apple products. He will teach a course entitled “Macs In the Law Office” at Solo Practice[...]

Jersey Estate Planning Blog Featured in Regional Business Journal

I was recently featured in an article about blogging and got the opportunity to discuss this blog. You can read the story here at the Princeton Business Journal. Posted by Victor J. Medina - Medina, Martinez & Castroll, LLC[...]

Making a Will

If you're thinking about making a will, here are few things that you should think about before drafting the will (or having an attorney help you think about these things and draft the will for you): 1.  What assets will you be putting in the will? Take an inventory of your significant assets.  These should[...]

Living Trusts – A Primer

Many clients come into the office saying that they need "a living trust" - often without a good understanding of what they are and when there are used. Here is a brief primer on living trusts for the uninitiated. 1) What is a living trust? Well, breaking it down, a trust is simply an arrangement[...]

Top Tips for Selecting an Estate Planner

Having practiced in this area for a while, here are some practical tips for selecting an estate planner. I promise that this is not a thinly-veiled way of describing my practice. Although we have many of these qualities, I believe that these tips have universal value. 1. Select an attorney who is an excellent listener.[...]

Special Planning Considerations

Estate planning is typically divided into two categories: (1) Estates large enough to require tax planning (which in New Jersey, because of decoupling, occurs on estates with as little as $675k in assets) and (2) Estates that require little or no tax planning. Good estate plans should also consider an additional sub category of complexity,[...]

Dotting the “I”s and Crossing the “T”s in the Family

A common tool for a sophisticated estate plan is the creation of a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) or Family Limited Liability Company (FLLC). Basically, these entities allow grantors to get a discount on the assets that they contribute to the FLP or FLLC. That discount is based on a number of factors, but two of[...]

Guardianship of Children With Special Needs

Two good posts coming from Leanna Hamill in Massachusetts and Tredway, Lumsdaine & Doyle in California on planning for children with special needs.  Among the excellent suggestions are the following: Special Needs Trust - allowing parents, grandparents and guardians to provide funds for a special needs child without disrupting eligibility for government aid. Exploring the[...]

Do You Have These 3 Legal Papers?

This post is important enough that I might run a variation of it every month for year. Let me spoil the surprise and give you the answer up front. You should have: A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances A Living Will The first and second one[...]