It seems unusual but in some instances it may mke some sense to do some post death estate planning. For example, an unmarried testator dies leaving three children named to take equally under the will and one of children is cash strapped and owes many debts. That child might consider not taking the bequest from the parent’s estate. The other two siblings in this example would each take 50% of the estate and thereafter might gift monies to the surviving sibling until that sibling gets back on his financial feet again. If that sibling takes his bequest under the will he might otherwise loose some if not all the bequest to his creditors.
Even celebrities have everyday problems. Gloria Gaynor who has a home in Green Brook filed a breach of contract suit through her lawyer alleging a Piscataway based landscaping company caused $38,000 worth of structural damages and leaks to her home. This supposedly occurred after the company removed a second floor concrete deck and installed a replacement. The attorney started a Consumer Fraud suit seeking treble damages as allowed by the Consumer Fraud Act of New Jersey. Why? The Defendant contractor was a landscaping company and not registered with the State to perform home improvement projects and never secured proper permits for the deck’s construction. The moral of the story? Always check every contractor’s insurance and contractor’s license if they are to do anything remotely to do with your home.. If the landscaper stuck to mowing the grass he would not be the Defendant in a lawsuit.
I am happy to initiate my periodic blog about all things legal. Today’s topic under the general subject of Wills and Estates pertains to the very recent changes we have experienced with the Governor of New Jersey deciding to withdraw his office’s appeal of the decision of the Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson in Trenton New Jersey that Same Sex Marriage is a Consititutional Right in the State of New Jersey. Couples who are of the same sex once married will be treated like any other married couple. Wills which have been written to accomodate the Civil Union statute should be at least reviewed and ownership of property might also be reviewed to see if any changes should be made. For example, when it comes to New Jersey Inheritance tax, one’s spouse by marriage regardless of sex, would now be a Class A beneficiary enjoying the tax benefits accordingly.
My suggestion is to pull out those important documents which pertain to your financial situation and have a good Wills and Estates lawyer have a look.
Meanwhile, if you have just gotten married or will be married shortly, congratulations!