In This Issue
1. New Probate Law Seminar
2. New Jersey Transfer Inheritance Tax
3. Duties of an Executor under a Will
4 Recent cases: Jayson Williams' post crime acts admissible.
5. Elder Law 2007- Changes in the law and Expanding an Elder Law Practice Saturday, August 11 2:00 -- 3:30 p.m. San Francisco
6. Car Ignition Interlock devices to prevent DWI
7. Final update: Cynthia Vercammen Birthday party Saturday July 28 7pm
1. Free to first 15 to register: New Probate Law Seminar
WHEN: Thursday August 2 12:30- 1:15 P.M.
WHERE: 2053 Woodbridge, Edison, NJ, Law Office conference room, 2nd floor
COST: Free if your pre-register. This program is limited to 15 people
SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
(Author- Answers to Questions About Probate)
The new NJ Probate Law effective February, 2005 makes a number of substantial changes in Probate and the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey.
1. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills
2. Power of Attorney
3. Living Will
4. Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate
5. Revocable Trusts/ Irrevocable Trusts
6. Federal HIPAA Regulations on release of medical info
7. Question and Answer
COMPLIMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, "Answers to Questions about Probate" and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.
Here is your opportunity to listen to an experienced attorney who will answer questions how to distribute your property as you wish and avoid many rigid provisions of state law.
Contact Information: Mike McDonald 732-572-0500
2. New Jersey Transfer Inheritance Tax
New Jersey has had a Transfer Inheritance Tax since 1892 when a 5% tax was imposed on property transferred from a decedent to a beneficiary. Currently, the law imposes a graduated Transfer Inheritance Tax ranging from 11% to 16% on the transfer of real and personal property with a value of $500.00 or more to certain beneficiaries.
The Transfer Inheritance Tax recognizes five beneficiary classes, as follows:
Class "A" - Father, mother, grandparents, spouse, child or children of the decedent, adopted child or children of the decedent, issue of any child or legally adopted child of the decedent and step-child of the decedent. No inheritance tax due, but Estate tax if estate over $675,000.
Class "B" - Eliminated by statute
Class "C" - Brother or sister of the decedent, including half brother and half sister, wife or widow of a son of the decedent, or husband or widower of a daughter of the decedent.
Class "D" - Every other transferee, distributee or beneficiary who is not included in Classes "A", "C" or "E".
Class "E" - The State of New Jersey or any political subdivision thereof, or any educational institution, church, hospital, orphan asylum, public library or Bible and tract society or to, for the use of or in trust for religious, charitable, benevolent, scientific, literary or educational purposes
More information on New Jersey Transfer Inheritance Tax at our new article at
3. Duties of an Executor under a Will
It is our recommendation that Executors undertake the following measures:
1. conduct a thorough search of the decedent's personal papers and effects for any evidence which might point you in the direction of a potential creditor;
2. carefully examine the decedent's checkbook and check register for recurring payments, as these may indicate an existing debt;
3. contact the issuer of each credit card that the decedent had in his/her possession at the time of his/ her death;
4. contact all parties who provided medical care, treatment, or assistance to the decedent prior to his/her death;
We will not be able to file the NJ inheritance tax return until it is clear as to the amounts of the medical bills. Medical expenses can be deducted in the inheritance tax. A copy of the list of assets that can be deducted on the inheritance tax is attached hereto.
Since you will be involved as the Personal Representative of this Estate, you should be aware that, pursuant to the relativity recent United States Supreme Court Case, Tulsa Professional Collection Services, Inc., v. Joanne Pope, Executrix of the Estate of H. Everett Pope, Jr., Deceased, the Personal Representative in every estate is personally responsible to provide actual notice to all known or "readily ascertainable" creditors of the decedent. This means that is your responsibility to diligently search for any "readily ascertainable" creditors.
I realize that attempting to uncover and contact such creditors may be a demanding task. However, the Pope case is quite explicit in its requirements. In that case, a "readily ascertainable" debt pertaining to the last illness of the decedent appeared five years after the death of the decedent. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the claim was valid, and had to be paid. The Personal Representative was held personally responsible for the outstanding debt, as all estate assets had been previously distributed. In light of this result, it is our responsibility, as your attorneys, to work with you in an effort to be certain that all such creditors are properly notified so that you will not be liable for the payment of any such claims and that all Estate assets, at the close of administrative and/or when distributed, are free and clear of any prospective claims.
Other upcoming duties/ Executor to Do
Bring Will to Surrogate
Notice to limit conditions via Surrogate
Apply to Federal Tax ID #
Set up Estate Account at bank (pay all bills from estate account)
Pay Bills ________
Notice of Probate to Beneficiaries (Attorney will handle)
If charity, notice to Atty General
File notice of Probate with Surrogate (Attorney will handle)
File first Federal and State Income Tax Return [CPA- ex Marc Kane]
Prepare Inheritance Tax Return and obtain Tax Waivers (Attorney will handle)
File waivers within 8 months upon receipt (Attorney will handle)
Prepare Informal Accounting
Prepare Release and Refunding Bond (Attorney will handle)
Obtain Child Support Judgment clearance (Attorney will handle)
Let's review the major duties involved, which we've set out below.
In General. The executor's job is to (1) administer the estate--i.e., collect and manage assets, file tax returns and pay taxes and debts--and (2) distribute any assets or make any distributions of bequests, whether personal or charitable in nature, as the deceased directed (under the provisions of the Will). Let's take a look at some of the specific steps involved and what these responsibilities can mean. Chronological order of the various duties may vary.
Probate. The executor must "probate" the Will. Probate is a process by which a Will is admitted. This means that the Will is given legal effect by the court. The court's decision that the Will was validly executed under state law gives the executor the power to perform his or her duties under the provisions of the Will.
An employer identification number ("EIN") should be obtained for the estate; this number must be included on all returns and other tax documents having to do with the estate. The executor should also file a written notice with the IRS that he/she is serving as the fiduciary of the estate. This gives the executor the authority to deal with the IRS on the estate's behalf.
Pay the Debts. The claims of the estate's creditors must be paid. Sometimes a claim must be litigated to determine if it is valid. Any estate administration expenses, such as attorneys', accountants' and appraisers' fees, must also be paid.
Manage the Estate. The executor takes legal title to the assets in the probate estate. The probate court will sometimes require a public accounting of the estate assets. The assets of the estate must be found and may have to be collected. As part of the asset management function, the executor may have to liquidate or run a business or manage a securities portfolio. To sell marketable securities or real estate, the executor will have to obtain stock power, tax waivers, file affidavits, and so on.
Take Care of Tax Matters. The executor is legally responsible for filing necessary income and estate-tax returns (federal and state) and for paying all death taxes (i.e., estate and inheritance). The executor can, in some cases be held personally liable for unpaid taxes of the estate. Tax returns that will need to be filed can include the estate's income tax return (both federal and state), the federal estate-tax return, the state death tax return (estate and/or inheritance), and the deceased's final income tax return (federal and state). Taxes usually must be paid before other debts. In many instances, federal estate-tax returns are not needed as the size of the estate will be under the amount for which a federal estate-tax return is required.
Often it is necessary to hire an appraiser to value certain assets of the estate, such as a business, pension, or real estate, since estate taxes are based on the "fair market" value of the assets. After the filing of the returns and payment of taxes, the Internal Revenue Service will generally send some type of estate closing letter accepting the return. Occasionally, the return will be audited.
Distribute the Assets. After all debts and expenses have been paid, the distribute the assets with extra attention and meticulous bookkeeping by the executor. Frequently, beneficiaries can receive partial distributions of their inheritance without having to wait for the closing of the estate.
4. Recent Cases: Jayson Williams' post crime acts admissible.
State v. Williams 190 N.J. 114 (2007)
The post-crime consciousness of guilt evidence is relevant to the mental state of Williams at the time of the shooting admissible to prove the crime of reckless manslaughter.
5. Elder Law 2007 - Changes in the law and Expanding an Elder Law Practice -Saturday, August 11, 2-3:30, San Francisco
American Bar Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco
Moscone Center West, Room 2005, 2nd Floor
Jay Foonberg, Esq. - Author of Best Sellers "How to
Start and Build a Law Practice" and "How to get and keep good clients', Beverly Hills, CA
Charles Sabatino, director of the ABA's Commission on Law & Aging
Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq. - co-author "Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law", Edison, NJ
Joan Burda, Author " Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples"
Primary Sponsors: General Practice Section
Co-Sponsors: Senior Lawyers Division
ABA Commission on Law & Aging
Law Practice Management Section
Health Law Section
National Lesbian & Gay Law Association
6. Car Ignition Interlock devices to prevent DWI.
"An Ignition Interlock device is an electronic alcohol analyzer which connects with the ignition and other control systems of a motor vehicle. It measures the BAC of the intended driver and prevents the vehicle from being started if the BAC exceeds a preset limit. It is generally comprised of a detachable Sample Head and a Control Module which is hard wired to the vehicle in a tamper resistant fashion."
On a first conviction of DWI, the Judge can require you install an Ignition Interlock device on your car. On second and third offense, an Ignition Interlock device is mandatory on cars you own. The Ignition Interlock device requires fees for installation, plus monthly charges.
A conviction will require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. MVC [Division of Motor Vehicles] and have your license suspended. In New Jersey, the Judge does not have to rule that you were drunk. The prosecutor only needs to prove a driver was under the influence of alcohol.
More information at:
7. Final Update: Cynthia Vercammen's Birthday Party
Saturday July 28 7pm
D.J. , karaoke, 8 person Hot tub plus Deck and Tiki Bar. 2 Fooz ball tables, ping pong, arcade basketball.
Cynthia's 50th Birthday Party Join the Fun Bunch
LOCATION: South Brunswick NJ at 16 Ireland Brook Dr. near Farrington Lake, off Route 130 and Rt. 522)
Directions: Visit our website at
www.njlaws.com or call and we will fax directions
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. at (732) 572-0500 (Law office) or 732-940-8962 (evening)
Yes, We will be attending the party - fax back to Law Office Fax: (732) 572-0030
Thank you for reading our newsletter! God Bless America USA #1
Our law blogs:
Vercammen NJLaw Blog-http://njlaws1.blogspot.com/
NJ Criminal Law Blog - http://njcriminallaw.blogspot.com/
NJ Traffic Law & Municipal Court Blog - http://traffic-law.blogspot.com/
NJ Personal Injury & Civil Law Blog- http://njlawspersonalinjury.blogspot.com/
NJ Elder Law Blog -http://elder-law.blogspot.com/
NJ Drug Law Blog - http://drugarrest.blogspot.com/
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All materials Copyright 2007. You may pass along the information on the NJ Laws Newsletter and website, provided the name and address of the Law Office is included.
KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
Admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court