1. Holiday Gift Idea! .....Gift Certificates for Wills or Power of Attorney
by: Martin M. Shenkman, PC
3. Testimony at
DV Trial can be used at criminal trial for impeachment
4. Next Charity Events
1. Holiday Gift Idea! .....Gift Certificates for Wills or Power of Attorney
During the Holiday season, we often buy gifts for our family and friends. May we suggest a holiday gift, which truly shows how much you care? Purchase a Will Gift Certificate for loved ones. Secure their interests and make sure proper planning is done.
The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen's Holiday special includes:
Summary: 2012 is the year of the estate plan. Here's some tips to make it really happen for you and your heirs.
If you snooze you loose: Lots of folks have waited waaaay toooo long to address 2012 planning. Many are finding out the hard way that most good advisers are too booked to help 'em. But lots of folks that think they are well along the 2012 planning path are still asleep at the switch and haven't followed up on many critical and time sensitive components of what they (not their advisers) have to follow up on to get their deals done. 2012 is unparalleled in tax planning history. The hand holding your CPA, attorney, wealth manager may have given you for planning in a prior year just ain't happening this round. Everyone that is any good is really overwhelmed. Every pro will drop balls because there are so many flying. To get your planning completed, and to get it completed right, you have to follow up.
It's Crunch Time! OK Cap'n Crunch if you have 2012 gift planning still in the hopper, and you hope to complete it before year end, time is of the essence. The estate planning "machine" of local attorneys (e.g., who are needed for trusts in other states like Delaware), appraisers (real estate, business, discount, etc.), CPAs (e.g., cash flow projections which are essential for any note sale transaction or transfer of business interest), corporate counsel (essential to obtain lender, lease and other approvals and to draft the entity documentation essential to consummate a gift of an entity interest), trust companies (to review and approve trusts, serve in fiduciary capacities, open accounts), are all incredibly backlogged. Most appraisers and attorneys will no longer take any new matters for 2012. The closer we get to Auld Lang Syne the more this backlog will grow. It will become harder, if not impossible, to finish many 2012 transactions. Bob Keebler a smart well known CPA and retirement planning guru has expressed concern that those waiting too near year end to convert IRAs to Roths may find that their requests won't get processed.
Deadline May be Before Year End: The election results, and President Obama's reiteration of this intent to have the wealthy bear more tax, has an ominous tone for anyone in the process of completing estate planning. No one knows what will happen in Washington. While it is possible that Congress will just kick the can down the road by extending the current estate tax regime, it is also possible that President Obama will push legislation through as part of addressing the fiscal cliff that will have a profound and negative impact on planning. Remember we got a new tax act in December 2010. Legislation to address the fiscal cliff could change the estate tax game rules before year end. Some provisions could be made effective as of the date of proposal, not enactment, which means you may lose the opportunity to implement a plan that is well underway. You need to expedite completing all planning. And many of the steps to do so are in your hands and are your responsibility. Speedy Gonzales gotta be your role model until New Years!
Be Proactiv®: Proactive is not just a zit cream. It's how you have to hustle to get your planning done this year. You must be personally proactive in pushing your advisory team (anyone and everyone involved in your planning) forward. You must make it a priority to personally set up meetings to sign documents, meet with advisers and push each phase of planning to conclusion. The volume of work everyone in the estate planning machine is experiencing is unprecedented. There has never been a time in the history of the estate tax (no exaggeration) where you had to be more proactive, and more personally responsible, to assist and push your own planning to completion than now.
Steps to Consider: What must you do now to increase the likelihood that your 2012 planning will be completed? Ask your advisers what specific steps you can take, and review the points below and act immediately to the extent that these matters pertain to you. If you are not sure, call and/or email each adviser that may be involved on the applicable component of your planning:
Appointments: If you have a trust, shareholders agreement, deed or other legal document that has to be completed, call your estate, corporate, and real estate attorney, and schedule an appointment to review your documents, and a second appointment to sign. Get the key dates locked-in so the essential actions happen.
ID Numbers: If you have an entity that needs a tax identification number (EIN, TIN), call your CPA and get one assigned immediately as you will not be able to open a bank, brokerage or other account without it. Record the EIN on the front page of the document so that you'll have it available whenever needed.
Moving Target: This is a volatile time for planning. Not only are there tremendous economic uncertainties and the future of the income and estate taxes unknown, but there have been rapid fire developments affecting key planning techniques vital to many 2012 transactions.
Summary: President Obama has been reelected to a second term and has reiterated that he expects the wealthy to pay more income tax. Ordinary income tax rates may be raised by increasing the top two tax brackets to 36% and 39.6%. Capital gains tax rates increased for high-earners to 20%, plus the 3.8% surtax. The Republican position that rates should not be raised, even on the wealthiest taxpayers, might, to some extent depending on the shape of tax negotiations, morph into tighter restrictions on a range of deductions. Here's some planning tips to discuss with your CPA before year end.
Medicare Tax: In 2013, a 0.9% Medicare tax will be imposed on wages and self-employment income over $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples and a 3.8% Medicare tax will apply to net investment income if you adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $200,000 single ($250,000 joint). Investment income derived as part of a trade or business is not subject to the new Medicare tax unless it results from investment of working capital. Discuss asset allocation decisions with your investment adviser, and business liquid holdings with your CPA. Trustees should review distribution policies with the trust's CPA as paying distributions to beneficiaries under the tax threshold may save money.
Deductions: Analyzing when to take deductions and losses. The usual rule to accelerate tax deductions and losses may be wrong. Because of possible tax increases the opposite approach might be best, but... If restrictions on deductions are enacted, then perhaps you should only defer deductions that aren't likely to be restricted. The reinstatement of the 3% AGI phase out of itemized deductions may also make many deductions of little value in 2013 regardless of other changes. So, the calculus of what to defer and what to accelerate could make this the most uncertain year-end ever.
Roth Conversions: Convert your IRA to a Roth IRA at today's lower rates. Generally, convert by asset class to take advantage of market conditions and volatility. Roth IRAs are not subject to the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules that regular IRAs are subject to at age 70.5 so they're groovier for doctors and others worried about asset protection. Beneficiaries can realize tax free withdrawals from Roth IRAs, but not from regular IRAs. From an estate tax planning perspective, funding a bypass or applicable exclusion trust with a Roth IRA is much more efficient since they are full dollars, whereas funding with a regular IRA is not only more complex but it underutilizes the benefit because the dollars involved are partial or pre-tax dollars.
Seminars: We're planning a 2013 chronic illness speaking tour from NJ to South Dakota. If your charity or professional organization would like a presentation let us know as we are starting to develop an itinerary.
3. Testimony at DV Trial can be used at criminal trial for impeachment State v Duprey427 NJ Super. 314 (App. Div. 2012)A-5469-10T4 08-01-12
This case required us to determine whether testimony given by the plaintiff or defendant during the trial of a domestic violence matter can be used for the purposes of cross- examination in a related criminal trial. The Court determined that a broad application of the language of N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(a), which provides that "testimony given by the plaintiff or defendant in the domestic violence matter shall not be used in the simultaneous or subsequent criminal proceeding against the defendant," would impair a criminal defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. The Court further determined that the Legislature did not intend to permit a criminal defendant who testifies at his criminal trial to be immune from cross-examination based on prior inconsistent statements made under oath at the DV trial. The Court held that testimony from a DV trial can be used for the limited purpose of cross-examination in a manner consistent with the opinion, but cannot be used as affirmative evidence except as permitted by the statute.
4. Next Charity Events:
12/12 RVRR Elections and pizza- Reformed Church
12/15 RVRR Christmas party
12/16 Hashathon 6.6 Mile Cheesequake challenging, dangerous trails, free beer, best post race party with band,
12/19 Raritan Valley Pub crawl New Brunswick, NJ
12/23 Mark Freezing cold has course with surveyor tape, decorate basement, decorate garage
12/30 Polar Bear Races 5k Asbury Park 5mi Run, 1pm, 732-222-9080 Free Polar Plunge swim in Atlantic Ocean after race, then discount beer at Wonder Bar
12/31 Jersey Shore Running Club Twilight Run, not a race Bar A
1/1/2013 New Years Day Hangover Run 5k 12-noon CJRR Westfield
1/2/- 1/4 Freezing cold hash T-shirt pick up and decorate Green Derby
Jan. 5, 2013 Freezing Cold Hash run & Party, Edison, NJ -Start Thomas Edison Park 732-572-0500 Adventure trail run, not a formal race. Featured on TV News12 NJ and Cablevision. Skull shirt pick up Ken Vercammen Law Office, 2053 Woodbridge Ave, Edison Volunteers needed call 732-572-0500
Editorial Assistance provided by Alexis Cirasuolo. Ms. Cirasuolo is a Junior at Kean University who is currently participating in Kenneth Vercammen's Fall Internship Program.