2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Sunday, February 09, 2020

E576 1. New Year's Resolution: Put your Will and Estate Planning in order. 2. Happy New Year and Thank you Clients for a good year. 3 HGN eye exam not admissible in DWI trial. 4 Update Wills and Estate Planning 2020- Free Seminar January 15 5. More YouTube videos 6. Metuchen NJ Public Defender Volunteer Internships Spring 7. 2020 Fun Running


1.  New Year's Resolution: Put your Will and Estate Planning in order. 
2.  Happy New Year and Thank you Clients for a good year.
3   HGN eye exam not admissible in DWI trial.
4   Update Wills and Estate Planning 2020- Free Seminar January 15
5.  More YouTube videos
6.  Metuchen NJ Public Defender Volunteer Internships Spring
7.  2020 Fun Running

1. New Year's Resolution: Put your Will and Estate Planning in order.

      Don't put off having a proper Will prepared and your Estate Planning. With a Will we can save the family over $1,000 with a no bond required clause and self-proving Affidavit. Our office can typically prepare your Will and sign with you a Will within three weeks of payment. Many persons have put this off for thirty years. Don't wait until you are in the hospital to think about taking care of your family.

      You also need a Power of Attorney.

      An important part of lifetime planning is the Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is accepted in all states, but the rules and requirements differ from state to state. A Power of Attorney gives one or more persons the power to act on your behalf as your POA agent. The power may be limited to a particular activity, such as closing the sale of your home, or be general in its application. The power may give temporary or permanent authority to act on your behalf. The power may take effect immediately, or only upon the occurrence of a future event, usually a determination that you are unable to act for yourself due to mental or physical disability. The Disability only POA is called a "springing" Power of Attorney.  A Power of Attorney may be revoked, but most states require written notice of revocation to the person named to act for you.

     The person named in a Power of Attorney to act on your behalf is commonly referred to as your "POA agent" or "attorney-in-fact." With a valid Power of Attorney., your agent can take any action permitted in the document. Often your POA agent must present the actual document to invoke the power. A POA agent who signs documents to buy or sell real property on your behalf must present the Power of Attorney to the title company. Similarly, the agent has to present the Power of Attorney to a broker or banker to effect the sale of securities or opening and closing bank accounts. For example, if another person is acting on your behalf to sell an automobile, the motor vehicles department generally will require that the Power of Attorney be presented before your agent's authority to sign the title will be honored. However, your agent generally should not need to present the Power of Attorney when signing checks for you.

    Why would anyone give such authority to another person? The most important reason to use Power of Attorneys to prepare for situations when you may not be able to act on your own behalf due to incapacity, illness or absence. Such a disability may be temporary, for example, due to accident, or illness or travel, or it may be permanent. If you are buying or selling assets and do not wish to appear in person to close the transaction, you may take advantage of a Power of Attorney. 

       If you do not have a Power of Attorney and become unable to manage your personal or business affairs, it may become necessary for the family to have to spend $4,000 for a Guardianship Complaint and petition the Superior court to appoint one or more people to act for you. People appointed in this manner are referred to as guardians, conservators, depending upon your local state law. Few people want to be subject to an expensive public proceeding in this manner so being proactive to create the appropriate document to avoid this is important. A Power of Attorney allows you to choose who will act for you and defines his or her authority and its limits.

       Who Should Be Your Agent?
      Most people choose a family member to act on your behalf. Many people name their spouses or a child. We do not prepare Powers of Attorney with Joint agents.
      You should always name a successor person to address the possibility that the person you name as agent may die, be unavailable or unable to act when the time comes. Similarly, in a Will there is Executor #1, then an Executor #2, not joint executors.

      There are no special qualifications necessary for someone to act as an attorney-in-fact except that the person must not be a minor or otherwise incapacitated. The best choice is someone you trust. Integrity, not financial acumen, is often the most important trait of a potential agent.

        How The Agent Should Sign?
      Assume Michael Douglas appoints his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, as his agent in a written Power of Attorney. Catherine, as agent, must sign as follows: Michael Douglas, by Catherine Zeta-Jones under POA or Catherine Zeta-Jones, attorney-in-fact for Michael Douglas.  If you are ever called upon to take action as someone's agent, you should consult with an attorney about actions you can and cannot take and whether there are any precautionary steps you should take to minimize the likelihood of someone challenging your actions. This is especially important if you take actions that directly or indirectly benefit you personally.

      What Kinds of Powers Should I Give My Agent?
      In addition to managing your day-to-day financial affairs, your attorney-in-fact can take steps to implement your estate plan. An agent cannot revise your Will on your behalf. 
Gifts are an important tool for many estate plans, and your attorney-in-fact can make gifts on your behalf, subject to guidelines that you set forth in your Power of Attorney. For example, you may wish to permit your attorney-in-fact to make "annual exclusion" gifts (up to $14,500 in value per recipient per year in 2019) on your behalf to your children and grandchildren. It is important that the lawyer who prepares your Power of Attorney draft the document in a way that does not expose your attorney-in-fact to unintended estate tax consequences. While some states permit attorneys-in-fact to make gifts as a matter of statute, others require explicit authorization in the Power of Attorney. If you have older documents you should review them with your attorney. Because of the high estate tax exemption ($11.5 million inflation adjusted) many people who had given agents the right to make gifts may no longer wish to include this power. 

      Finally, there may be reasons not to limit the gifts your attorney-in-fact may make to annual exclusion gifts in order to facilitate Medicaid planning or to minimize or avoid state estate tax beyond what annual exclusion gifts alone might permit.

      In addition to the power of your agent to make gifts on your behalf, many powers of attorney-in-fact are governed by state law. Generally, the law of the state in which you reside at the time you sign a Power of Attorney will govern the powers and actions of your agent under that document. If you own real estate, such as a vacation home, or valuable personal property, such as collectibles, in a second state, you should check with an attorney in that state to make sure that your Power of Attorney properly covers such property. Kenneth Vercammen is Chair of the ABA Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Committee of the American Bar Associations Solo Small Firm Division with over 20,000 members.

    You also need a Living Will/ Advance Directive. Modern medicine and machinery can keep a person alive for long periods of time.  Sometimes a person is often kept alive in pain or under circumstances that render him or her unconscious as to everything around them, while causing pain and anguish to the family.

     Our state has passed a "Living Will" law, often called a "Death with Dignity" law, which allows a person to direct that heroic measures not be taken to prolong life in these unhappy situations.

     This "Living Will" is different than a regular Will, which affects property rights. The "Living Will" is an independent document to be signed in addition to your regular Will. Please let us know if you want a Living Will/ Advance Directive prepared.

     For business owners a portion of your Estate Planning may be tax deductible for income tax purposes. Certain tax planning is deductible on a tax return. Your CPA may be able to deduct a portion of the professional fees paid for tax planning. The amounts to be deducted must be discussed with your CPA.

2.   Happy New Year and Thank you Clients for a good year.
     I would like to thank my clients and friends for another good year. We appreciate many referrals. So many of you were kind enough to tell others about our services and recommend us. Since 1985, [Over 30 years], I have helped individuals and families with legal matters. With changing laws, it is important that your estate planning documents are updated to reflect your family. As you know, all business must grow, and one of the safest ways to grow to get referrals from satisfied clients. Thank you for referring friends and family. May the New Year bring happiness and good health to you and those you love.

   After January 1, we will be shredding Municipal Court and Litigation files more than 7 years old. If you are past client and there is a file in our office that you do not want us to shred, please email us so arrangements can be made for you to pick up by appointment. Closed files are not stored in the office.

3.  Recent case- HGN eye exam not admissible in DWI trial. State v O'Neill. unreported
   Defendant appealed his DWI conviction. Defendant argued the horizontal gaze nystagmus test should not have been considered and state failed to prove by competent evidence the 20-minute observation period required for the Alcotest. Testing officer admitted he did not time the 20 minutes himself. The only evidence introduced at trial as proof of the 20 minutes was officer's statement that the dispatcher told him the time was up. The time relayed by the dispatcher was a statement for the purposes of meeting the state's evidence obligation, the Confrontation Clause required that such testimonial evidence be subject to cross-examination, dispatcher did not testify and the Alcotest could not be used as evidence of defendant's DWI. 

   Court noted that it had long been held that the HGN test could be used to establish probable cause for a DWI arrest, but lacked sufficient scientific reliability to warrant admission as evidence of guilt. Admission of defendant's HGN test was not harmless error. Trial judge did not abuse her discretion in precluding testimony of defendant's witness about the impact of hardware in defendant's ankle on his field sobriety test performance. Source: https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/almID/1566871479NJA446217T/

4. You are invited to Update Wills and Estate Planning 2020- Free Seminar January 15    January 15, 2020 at 12:15-1:00 PM and again at 5pm
Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen,
2053 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, NJ 08817
program is limited to 15 people. Please bring a canned food donation. 
     COST: Free if you pre-register by email. Complimentary materials provided at 12:00 sharp. Please bring a canned food donation, which will be given to the St. Matthews's St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank. Free sandwich for past and current clients. We are buying fromCraig's Deli. Woodbridge Ave.

      Main Topics:
1. Elimination of NJ Estate Tax 
2. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills    
3. 2020 changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax exemption
4. The need for current Power of Attorney              
5. Living Will & Advance Directive                                    
6. Administering the Estate & Probate
   We previously held this seminar for the Edison, Metuchen and Piscataway Libraries. Please email us if you plan on attending or if you would like us to email the materials. 
   SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.                 
(Author- ABA Wills and Estate Administration)
     COMPLIMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, Probate and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.   
Co-Sponsor: Middlesex County Estate Planning Council
To attend email: VercammenLaw@Njlaws.com

5. More YouTube videos
NJ DWI First offense penalty after 12-1-19

New Penalty for DWI 2nd and 3rd offense 39:4-50

6. Metuchen NJ Public Defender Volunteer Internships Spring 2020 for 2nd, 3rd, 4th year college students and college grads
     The Public Defenders provide Indigent individuals charged with criminal or serious motor vehicle charges with free or limited cost legal defense. The Public Defender of Metuchen invites college students interested in attending law school or a career in law enforcement to apply to serve as volunteer interns. Interviews start for students to start in January or February 2020  

Court times: WEDNESDAY 1pm PM [approx]- 7:30 PM,   once a month Friday 11-2, plus hearing preparation work.
             Volunteer Internship Description:
-Interview Clients facing charges in Municipal Court including Drug Possession, Drunk Driving, Assault, Driving While Suspended and other criminal and traffic offenses
-Make demands for Discovery on Prosecutor and review police reports
-Attend hearings and learn from experienced trial attorneys
-Prepare Motions to Suppress Evidence and Motions to Compel Discovery
-Conduct appropriate Legal research
-Acquire skills in Criminal Law and Procedure by active participation
-Participate in Public Relations activities for NJ State Bar Association, American Bar Association ABA and help organize seminars
- Update Lists of Prosecutors, Judges and Attorneys for publication of
    NJ Municipal Court Law Review
-       Revise criminal and traffic law Articles and submit to Law Journals and criminal law websites.
-       Add new criminal cases, criminal statutes and criminal articles to our Public Defender blog: http://criminal-jury.blogspot.com and other legal blogs and websites for use of clients and the general public.
-       Add Motor vehicle statutes, criminal court rules to websites to assist persons charged with criminal, traffic, DWI and municipal court complaints
-     Revise criminal and traffic law Articles and submit to Law Journals and criminal law websites.
-      -Help edit the new book "Handling DUI and Drug Possession Defense" written by Kenneth Vercammen
       Volunteer to help indigent people charged with criminal and motor vehicle offenses of magnitude. In additional to time in court, you will be given research assignments. You can work more hours if you want. Help people less fortunate than you who are down on their luck.
        Program lasts 12 weeks Minimum Volunteer time commitment  Fall & Spring 10 hours per week 
Summer- 19 hours per week. For Summer- 4th year students and college grads or law students only
         Mail or fax cover letter and resume to
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
Public Defender for the Borough of Metuchen
c/o 2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817      
 Fax 732-572-0030
   No emails. After sending resume, call to schedule interview 732-572-0500.

7. 2020 Fun Running Races & Charity events participated by Kenneth Vercammen 

Jan 5 FARC Freehold Winter 5k first five Sunday 10:00am   www.farcnj.com

Jan 11, 2020 Secret Mystery Winter Trail Run 2.5 mile & 5 Mile Group Run 10:17am Start Location: Secret Mystery wooded area North Brunswick to be emailed to pre-registered. Only $20.00 via https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/NorthBrunswick/SecretMysteryRun

Jan 19 Freehold Winter 5k   10:00am   www.farcnj.com

February 15 Manasquan Mid-Winter 2 mile Beach Run/Walk 11:00Race starts on Ocean Ave, Boardwalk and you run l 1/4 mile on the Beach, ending at Leggett's restaurant. Post race party at Leggett's, plenty refreshments and food. Wakefern Shoprite co-sponsor jerseyrunner.com

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