1. Do I need a Will?
    • Yes. A Will directs where your assets go upon your death. It saves your heirs time, aggravation and the cost of a surety bond. You can select the Executor and place assets in Trust for beneficiaries, if needed. Jointly held assets and payable upon death accounts are not substitutes for a Will.
  2. Can a Power of Attorney be used after the Principal dies?
    • No. Once the Principal dies the Agent may no longer act.
  3. Is it a good idea for a child to be on my accounts and Deed to avoid probate, tax, and long-term costs?
    • No. Do not make a child co-owner of your assets because the child could get sued, divorced, become estranged from you or spend the account without your permission. There could also be tax pitfalls to the child.
  4. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
    • Medicare is a federal insurance program that all people over 65 and younger disabled people qualify for. Patients pay part of the costs through deductibles for hospital and medical expenses.
    • Medicaid is a welfare asset based program administered by the states within federal guidelines. It serves low income people of every age to cover medical expenses and nursing home costs.
  5. What estate plan documents should everyone have?
    • At a minimum, everyone should have a Living Will, Health Care Proxy, Durable Power of Attorney, and Last Will and Testament. Depending upon circumstances, a Trust may be appropriate.
  6. What is the current Medicaid “look-back” period in New Jersey for transfers to children and/or Trusts?
    • Five (5) years.
  7. Is it too late to plan if someone has already entered a nursing home?
    • Normally not. Transfers to spouses and disabled children are not penalized. The healthy spouse will need to revise their estate plan to maximize inheritance for their heirs and sign new advanced directives for themselves.
  8. How can I protect my residence from Medicaid or a nursing home?
    • A principal residence is protected and may be transferred to a spouse, disabled child, child care-taker, sibling with an equity interest or child under 21 years of age providing specific requirements are met. Advanced planning may include placing the home in an Irrevocable Trust for five years prior to filing for Medicaid.
  9. How can I save from paying estate tax?
    • There are many ways a single person and married couple of any age can reduce there estate tax through Disclaimer Wills, Credit Shelter Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, gifting, and Family Limited Partnerships. Each plan is fact sensitive and tailored to meet the Client’s objectives.
  10. When should people consider establishing a Trust?
    • Trusts are used for a variety of reasons. Sometimes Clients establish Trusts to reduce estate taxes, protect assets from creditors, and nursing homes, secure money for grandchildren, a disabled heir, or a spendthrift child.
639 Lacey Rd, Suite 2
Forked River, NJ 08731
Phone: (609) 242-4300
Fax: (609) 242-2622