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Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
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Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
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March 2013 Archives

Gay couples have unique estate planning needs

The outcome of ongoing Supreme Court hearings could have significant impact on the estate planning needs of gay couples in New Jersey and across the nation. At the center of the issues before the court are concerns that gay couples who are legally married do not have the same financial benefits afforded to heterosexual couples, putting them at a distinct disadvantage. One aspect of the issue involves the ability to transfer money to one's spouse after death without having to pay an estate tax. Currently, these concerns leave same-sex couples in need of careful estate planning in order to accomplish their intended goals when one partner survives the other.

New Jersey estate administration: Who to appoint as executor?

One aspect of estate planning that some New Jersey residents struggle with is the decision of who to name as personal representatives to oversee their wills. This can be especially difficult for those who do not have family members close to them and wonder about the logistics behind estate administration under such circumstances. New Jersey is one of those states that specifies that residents are preferred as the executors of wills over nonresidents, but does not entirely prohibit nonresidents serving in that capacity.

New Jersey estate planning may require new tactics

People in New Jersey and across the nation have likely heard much on the news recently about the new federal tax laws passed by Congress in January. The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) is considered to be good news for those who are in the process of estate planning. According to the Tax Policy Center, an estimated 3,800 estates nationwide are large enough to owe any federal estate tax this year, which means that most of the U.S. population will not be affected by estate taxes.

Probate dispute spotlights the rights of adopted children

New Jersey readers may have heard of a recent court case in a neighboring state that got national attention. A probate dispute between a widow and the current family of her former adoptive daughter ended in the daughter's favor. The teenage girl, who was originally adopted from China, is now entitled to a portion of her former adoptive father's $250 million estate after he left behind a trust to care for her.