Kenneth Vercammen, Esq is Chair of the ABA Elder Law Committee and presents seminars to attorneys and the public on Wills, Probate and other legal topics related to Estate Planning and Elder law. He is author of the ABA's book "Wills and Estate Administration. Kenneth Vercammen & Associates,
2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500 More information at www.njlaws.com/

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar NJ

Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar
April 24 at 7:00pm Free community program
480 Middlesex Ave. Metuchen, NJ 08840

WILLS & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION-PROTECT YOUR
FAMILY AND MAKE PLANNING EASY

SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Edison, NJ (Author- Wills and Estate Administration by the ABA)

       The NJ Probate Law made a number of substantial changes in Probate and the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey.

Main Topics:
  2017 changes to NJ Estate Tax & changes to taxes on pensions
2. 2017changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax 
3. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills   
4. Power of Attorney  
5.  Living Will        
6.  Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate   
You do not have to be a Metuchen resident to attend but
       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.
   Free but registration requested
(732 632-8526  ex 8528
http://www.metuchenlibrary.org
https://www.facebook.com/events/267535740332887/
Free Will Seminars and Speakers Bureau for Groups
        To schedule a Legal Seminars, contact our Coordinator, Kenneth Vercammen's law office at (732) 572-0500, email VercammenLaw@njlaws.com 

10 years ago the AARP Network Attorneys of the Edison/Metuchen/Woodbridge area several years ago established a community Speakers Bureau to provide educational programs to AARP and senior clubs, Unions and Middlesex County companies. Now, Ken Vercammen, Esq. and volunteer attorneys of the Middlesex County Estate Planning Council have provided Legal Rights Seminars to hundreds of seniors, business owners and their employees, unions, clubs and non-profit groups
Details on free programs available

These quality daytime educational programs will educate and even entertain. Clubs and companies are invited to schedule a free seminar. The following Seminars are now available:
1. WILLS & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION-PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND
MAKE PLANNING EASY
2. POWER OF ATTORNEY to permit family to pay your bills if you are temporarily disabled and permit doctors to talk with family
       All instructors are licensed attorneys who have been in practice at least 25 years. All instructors are members of the American Bar Association, New Jersey
State Bar Association, and Middlesex County Bar Association. All programs include free written materials.

       You don't have to be wealthy or near death to do some thinking about a Will. Here is your opportunity to listen to an experienced attorney who will discuss how to distribute your property as you wish and avoid many rigid provisions of state law.

      Topics discussed include: Who needs a Will?; What if you die without a Will (intestacy)?; Mechanics of a Will; "Living Will"; Powers of Attorney; Selecting an executor, trustee, and guardian; Proper Will execution; Inheritance Taxes, Estate Taxes $14,000 annual gift tax exclusion,  Bequests to charity, Why you need a "Self-Proving" Will and  Estate Administration/ Probate.

       Sample materials: Hand-outs on Wills, Living Wills/Medical Advance Directive, Power of Attorney, Probate and Administration of an Estate, Real Estate, Working with your Attorney, Consumers Guide to New Jersey Laws, and Senior Citizen Rights.

SPEAKERS BUREAU

        At the request of senior citizen groups, unions, and Middlesex County companies and organizations, the " Speakers Bureau " is a service designed to educate citizens about how laws affect their lives and how the judicial system operates. We have attorneys available to speak to businesspersons, educational, civic and social organizations on a wide range of topics during business hours.

In today's complex world, few people can function successfully and safely without competent legal advice. In order to insure your estate plans are legally set up, you need to know exactly where you stand so that you can avoid possibly catastrophic mistakes impacting both you and your family.

About the speaker: Kenneth A. Vercammen is a trial attorney in Edison, NJ. We is the author of the American Bar Association’s book “Wills and Estate Administration”
He is co-chair of the ABA Probate & Estate Planning Law Committee of the American Bar Association Solo Small Firm Division.  He is a speaker for the NJ State Bar Association at the annual Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration program.
He was Editor of the ABA Estate Planning Probate Committee Newsletter. Mr. Vercammen has published over 150 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation, elder law, probate and trial topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation and probate law for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He established the NJlaws website www.njlaws.com which includes many articles on Estate Planning, Probate and Wills. He is a member of the AARP and often lectures to groups on the importance of an up to date Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
 KENNETH  VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
 (Fax)    732-572-0030

www.njlaws.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sayreville Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar Sayreville Senior Center March 16

 Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar
March 16 at 7pm open to the public
423 Main Street
Sayreville NJ 08872   

     The January 1, 2017 New Estate Tax law made a number of substantial changes in the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey.
SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Edison, NJ
Author- Wills & Estate Administration ABA book

WILLS & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION- PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND MAKE PLANNING EASY

Main Topics:
1. 2017 changes to NJ Estate Tax & changes to taxes on pensions
2. Updates in Federal Estate and Gift Tax 
3. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills 
4. Power of Attorney    
5.  Living Will        
6.  Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate  

    You do not need to be a resident to attend.
       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.
       Call Sayreville Senior Center 732-390-7059 Jen Krushinski  
You don’t have to be a Sayreville resident to attend.
 https://www.facebook.com/events/245200255929245/
For materials if you can’t attend, email vercammenlaw@njlaws.com


Speaker: Kenneth A. Vercammen is a trial attorney in Edison, NJ. He is Author of the American Bar Association book “Wills and Estate Administration”. He is co-chair of the ABA Probate & Estate Planning Law Committee of the American Bar Association Solo Small Firm Division.  He is a speaker for the NJ State Bar Association at the annual Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration program.
He was Editor of the ABA Estate Planning Probate Committee Newsletter. Mr. Vercammen has published over 150 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation, elder law, probate and trial topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation and probate law for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He established the NJlaws website www.njlaws.com which includes many articles on Estate Planning, Probate and Wills. He is a member of the AARP and often lectures to groups on the importance of an up to date Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will.

KENNETH  VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
 (Fax)    732-572-0030
www.njlaws.com

www.CentralJerseyElderLaw.com

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Wills and Estate Planning for Lawyers

Wills and Estate Planning for Lawyers

By Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.

         Lawyers work on an average more than 80,000 hours in a lifetime. In spite of all our resources and the assets we earn during our lifetime, the vast majority of Attorneys do not take the time to create the legal instructions to guide the court or a guardian. National statistics indicate that more than 50% of Americans die without leaving a Will.  In the absence of a Will or other legal arrangement to distribute property at death, often a mess occurs. Many attorneys experienced in Criminal and Civil Litigation have never prepared a Will for clients, let alone for themselves.
          The result of no Will can be lengthy delays in the distribution of your estate, additional unneccesary cost for a bond, court battles between relatives and your children being raised by someone you do not favor.

Where there’s No Will …

         Your assets go to whoever a state law says receives the assets, or to the government itself!  A Will should be a statement to the things you truly care about: your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, and your charities.
          
         If you leave no Will or your Will is declared invalid because it was improperly prepared or is not admissible to probate:

1. People you dislike or people who dislike and ignore you may get your assets.
2. State law determines who gets assets, not you.
3. Additional expenses will be incurred and extra work will be required to qualify an administrator-Surety Bond, additional costs and legal fees.
4. You lose the opportunity to try to reduce Estate Tax, State inheritance taxes and Federal estate taxes.
5. A Judge determines who gets custody of children. A greedy brother or crazy mother in law could ask the court for custody.
6. If you have no spouse or close relatives the State may take your property.
7. The procedure to distribute assets becomes more complicated.
8.  It probably will cause fights and lawsuits within your family.
        
When loved ones are grieving and dealing with death, they shouldn’t be overwhelmed with Financial concerns. A Will must not only be prepared within the legal requirements of the state Statutes but should also be prepared so it leaves no questions regarding your intentions.


         Think- Who don’t you want to receive your assets?  Without a Will, they could receive your assets and request custody of children.

         Many Attorneys are not comfortable preparing their own Wills. Therefore, you may wish to do the following:

1)  Have an Estate Planning attorney prepare a Will to distribute your assets to the people you care the most about. If you already have a Will, prepare a new Will and have the old Will revoked. ( Your estate planning attorney will explain this to you.)
2)  Prepare a Power of Attorney to select someone to handle your finances if you become disabled.  Have your old power of attorney revoked.
3)  Prepare a Living Will prepared
4)  Change your beneficiary on assets you may own, such as stocks, bank accounts, IRA, and other financial assets. Change your beneficiary under your own life insurance, whether whole life  insurance or term insurance.
5)  Contact your human resources person and change the beneficiary on life insurance, pension, stock options or other employee benefits. Note that your spouse must sign a written waiver permitting you to change beneficiaries.
6)   Keep your personal papers at a location where family can find them.
7)  Have your attorney prepare a prenuptial agreement if you decide to get re-married.
8)   Make sure the trustee for any funds designated for your children is the "right" trustee.
9)   In New Jersey, if you are married and  living with your spouse, under certain instances the surviving spouse has a right to "elect against the Will." The disinherited spouse may like to elect against the Will and try to obtain one third of the estate. Your attorney can explain how you can protect yourself and your children.                    
10) If you have minor children, nominate someone under a Will to serve as guardian to the children. Although the surviving parent obviously has first right of custody of children, they may not even want custody.

SAVE MONEY- Have your attorney prepare a self- proving Will with a No bond clause

         Who is not the best choice to raise your children, or safeguard your children's money for college?   Do you want children, or grandchildren, to get money when they turn 18?  Will they invest money wisely, or go to Seaside and play games? 

Life Insurance
 Sometimes it is not wise to leave children as a beneficiary of life insurance and your pension if your children are under the age of 21. You could make your estate the beneficiary of life insurance, and pension, then direct in your Will that the money be used to provide support and college expense for children.
Minor Children & Grandchildren
          For example, the Will could provide that any portion of my residuary estate which becomes distributable to a beneficiary under the age of twenty-one (21) years shall be held as a separate trust by my Executor until such beneficiary attains the age of twenty-one (21) years. My Executor shall apply such amounts of income and principal as he, in his sole discretion, deems proper for the health, maintenance, education, welfare, or support of such beneficiary and shall accumulate any unexpended income not needed for the above purposes, paying and transferring the portion held in trust to the beneficiary upon his or her attaining the age of twenty-one (21) years.  Prior to his or her attaining the age of twenty-one (21) years, my Executor may apply such income or principal for benefit of such beneficiary directly or by payment to the person with whom such beneficiary resides or who has the care or control of such beneficiary without the intervention of a guardian.  My Executor shall not be obligated to supervise or inquire into the application of such amounts by such person, and the receipt of such person shall be a complete release of my Trustee.
                                                                                                          
THE FOLLOWING IS A SAMPLE OF A VARIETY OF CLAUSES AND ITEMS WHICH  KENNETH VERCAMMEN’S LAW OFFICE OFTEN INCLUDES IN A WILL

1ST:  DEBTS AND TAXES
2ND: SPECIFIC BEQUESTS
3RD:  DISPOSITION TO SPOUSE
4TH: DISPOSITION OF REMAINDER OF ESTATE
5TH: CREATION OF TRUSTS FOR SPOUSE
6TH: CREATION OF TRUST FOR CHILDREN
7TH: OTHER BENEFICIARIES UNDER 21
8TH: EXECUTORS
9TH: TRUSTEES
10TH: GUARDIANS
11TH: SURETY OR BOND
12TH: POWERS
13TH: AFTERBORN CHILDREN
14TH: PRINCIPAL AND INCOME
15TH: NO ASSIGNMENT OF BEQUESTS
16TH: GENDER
17TH: CONSTRUCTION OF WILL
18TH:  NO CONTEST CLAUSE

WHY PERIODIC  REVIEW IS ESSENTIAL
        
         Even if you have an existing Will, there are many events that occur which may necessitate changes in your Will.  Some of these are:
    
* Marriage, death, birth, divorce or separation affecting either you or  anyone named in your Will

* Significant changes in the value of your total assets or in any particular assets which you own
    
* A change in your domicile
    
* Death or incapacity of a beneficiary, or death, incapacity or change in residence of a named executor, trustee or guardian of infants, or of one of the witnesses to the execution of the Will

* Annual changes in tax law

* Changes in who you like

MAY I CHANGE MY CURRENT WILL?
        
         Yes.  A Will may be modified, added to, or entirely changed at any time before your death provided you are mentally and physically competent and desire to change your Will.  You should consider revising your Will whenever there are changes in the size of your estate. For example, when your children are young, you may think it best to have a trust for them so they do not come into absolute ownership of  property until they are mature.  Beware, if you draw lines through items, erase or write over, or add notations to the original Will, it can be destroyed as a legal document.  Either a new Will should be legally prepared or a codicil signed to legally change  portions of the Will.
        
         A portion of your Will and Estate Planning can be deducted on your income tax return when it deals with tax planning. Thus, part of the fee is tax deductible for income tax purposes.
         Under the law in New Jersey, if a person dies without a Will and without children, their spouse will inherit all assets, even if they are separated from the spouse.  In addition, if you have children from a previous marriage, but no Will, your separated spouse will get half your estate.  
       
        Your estate will be subject to probate whether or not you have a Will and in most cases, a Will reduces the cost by eliminating the requirements of a bond.  With a well-drawn Will, you may also reduce death taxes and other expenses.  Don’t pinch pennies now to the detriment of  your beneficiaries  

        Estate Planning is the process of examining what will happen to your property when you die and arranging for its distribution in such a manner as will accomplish your objectives.
        The cost of a Will depends on the size and the complexity of the estate and the plans of the person who makes the Will. 

        Be sure your Will takes into account the 2017 Estate Tax law changes and the separate Inheritance Tax. Also, ascertain if your Will is “self-proving”, which would dispense with having to find the Will’s witnesses after death.


OTHER DOCUMENTS TO BE PREPARED BY YOUR ATTORNEY
-Power of Attorney- to allow a trusted person to  administer your assets during your lifetime, either upon disability or now
-Living Wills- to state your wishes concerning  medical care in the event of your serious illness
-Trusts (and Medicaid Trusts)

CONCLUSION

        Planning can only be done if someone is competent and/or alive. Make sure your assets can be passed directly to your loved ones. Kenneth A. Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 125 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics.  He has been selected to lecture to trial lawyers by the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. 
       Call our office to schedule a confidential appointment 732-572-0500

KENNETH  VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
 (Fax)    732-572-0030
website: www.njlaws.com