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Friday, July 20, 2007

NJ Laws Newsletter E208 March 12, 2006

In this issue:
1. Living trust does not minimize estate taxes
2 Recent Personal Injury cases
3. NJ Municipal Court Law Review
4. The "New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act
5  Municipal ordinance fines can be increased from $1,250 to $2,000
6. DRUNK DRIVING- community care-taking permitted questioning parked car

1. Living trust does not minimize estate taxes
One of the most controversial topics in New Jersey estate planning is the incorporation of a living trust. A popular and well publicized technique nationally; the living trust is not as useful a technique in a New Jersey estate plan. A living trust does not minimize estate taxes due. Rather, it is a technique used to avoid the other expense of death, probate costs. Furthermore, it is somewhat successful at keeping an estate private.

However, New Jersey's probate costs are relatively inexpensive. New Jersey has the privilege of being one of the cheapest states in the country when it comes to probate fees. The average estate in New Jersey only costs a few hundred dollars to probate. So, if you are not concerned about the privacy of your estate, why would one use a living trust in New Jersey? The answer to that question is Real Estate. If you own real property in a state, say for example New Jersey, you are required to probate your estate in that state. An estate that has real estate in multiple states, for example a Pennsylvania resident who owns a New Jersey shore home, you must probate your will in multiple states. That means you are not only subject to Pennsylvania probate costs, but New Jersey costs as well. The need for a living trust becomes more apparent

Take Jim for example. Jim visits his estate-planning attorney this year. He discloses all of his assets to his attorney, including his home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and his shore home in Margate, New Jersey. Jim is not interested in keeping his estate private. He informs his attorney that he has heard that a living trust is a great estate planning technique, and all his friends are incorporating them into their estate plan. Jim's attorney informs him that all estate plans are different and that may be an appropriate technique for his friend's estates, but after careful consideration, it is not a good technique for him. Such a technique would only result in a higher legal fee and avoid a minimal probate cost. For more information on Medicaid and trusts, call Tom Begley Jr., an Elder & Disability Law Firm with offices in Moorestown, Stone Harbor and Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He can be contacted at 800-533-7227.

2 Recent Personal Injury cases:

Pardo v. Omar Dominguez (A-3388-04T3)
Herniated disc in car accident satisfies the verbal threshold.

Afram v. Heller (A-4840-03T3)- Under N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8a car insurance law, chiropractors are qualified to render opinions on causation and permanency in respect of the types of injuries they treat. The rationales of the trial court opinions in Pensabene v. Straus, 342 N.J. Super. 196 (Law Div. 2001) and Olarte v. Crocker, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (Law Div. 2002)(2002 WL 32086768; 2002 N.J. Super. Lexis 541) are substantially adopted.

3. NJ Municipal Court Law Review - subscription info

Kenneth Vercammen served as a Municipal Prosecutor for nine years. To better provide other prosecutors, police, attorneys and judges with updates in criminal and traffic law, he established the NJ Municipal Court Law Review in 1995.
Police and Courts find the new cases helpful on issues of traffic law and search and seizure. Attorneys and Prosecutors who practice in the Municipal Court and Criminal Courts will want to receive quarterly updates on cases, selected revised motor vehicle laws, and information on Municipal Court practice. For a subscription, please send $20.00

4. The "New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act," effective April 15, 2006 prohibits smoking in workplaces and indoor public places throughout the State, except for certain specifically exempted establishments, and also prohibits smoking in any area of any public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, whether in the buildings or on the grounds of the school.
"indoor public place" to mean a structurally enclosed place of business, commerce or other service-related activity, whether publicly or privately owned or operated on a for-profit or nonprofit basis, which is generally accessible to the public. (This term is explicitly defined to include the following as examples: commercial office buildings, retail establishments, government offices, schools, sporting arenas, bars, restaurants, public libraries, museums, public conveyances, hotels and motels, child care centers, health care facilities, waiting rooms in physicians' and other health care providers' offices, recreational facilities and passenger elevators.)

5  Municipal ordinance fines can be increased from $1,250 to $2,000

      This new law NJSA. 40:49-5 amend the laws governing municipal fines to increase the maximum fine that may be imposed for the first violation of a municipal ordinance from $1,250 to $2,000. The maximum fine was last changed in 2001, when it was increased from $1,000 to $1,250.
      Under the law, prior to imposing a fine in an amount greater than $1,250 upon an owner for violations of housing or zoning codes a municipality would be required to provide a 30-day period in which the owner would be afforded: 1) an opportunity to cure or abate the condition and 2) an opportunity for a judicial hearing for an independent determination concerning the violation. Once the 30-day period has run, a municipality could impose a fine greater than $1,250 if the abatement has not been substantially completed unless a court has determined otherwise.
 Approved January 5, 2006.

6. DRUNK DRIVING- community care-taking permitted questioning parked car
Appellate Division, A-2110-04T1, October 18, 2005, not approved for publication. Facts-on-Call Order No. 18678

Conviction of driving while intoxicated after a trial de novo in the Law Division affirmed; a police officer on routine patrol at 2:30 a.m. observed the defendant's motor vehicle parked with its engine and its lights on in the parking lot of a store that had closed at 9 p.m.; the officer approached the vehicle because he was concerned about the intentions and the well-being of its occupants; the defendant was unable to produce a driver's license, and the officer's observations led him to conduct field sobriety tests, which resulted in the defendant's arrest; contrary to the defendant's argument on appeal, the Law Division did not err by denying his motion to suppress evidence of his intoxication because the officer was acting within the scope of his community care-taking function when he approached the defendant's vehicle.

Upcoming events:

March 20 Edison Will seminar Edison HS

March 27 Edison Chamber - Taste of Middlesex- Pines

April 1 - Edison Elks Officer Installation

New articles on the internet:

NJ Standard Refusal Warning to DWI Drivers


Thank you for reading our newsletter! God Bless America USA #1
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
PHONE 732-572-0500 (Fax) 732-572-0030
website: www.njlaws.com

Speakers Bureau: The NJ State Bar Association established a community Speakers Bureau to provide educational programs to senior clubs, Unions and Middlesex County companies. During the past year, volunteer attorneys have provided Legal Rights Seminars to hundreds of seniors, business owners and their employees, unions, clubs and non-profit groups. If you are interested in having an attorney speak on Wills, Probate or Elder Law at an event, please call my office. These quality daytime educational programs will educate and even entertain. Clubs and companies are invited to schedule a free seminar during business hours.

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