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/

Saturday, July 29, 2017

ABA Estate Planning, Probate and Trust and Elder Law Joint Committee Meeting August 11

ABA Estate Planning, Probate and Trust and Elder Law Joint Committee Meeting Friday, August 11 GPSolo 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 pm
Seminar and round table
At the ABA Annual Meeting Westin New York at Times Square New York, NY  270 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036


Ideas to be discussed:
Scheduling Appointments for Potential Client Callers
Email, fax, or mail potential client an interview form and appointment letter.
What to Do When Potential Clients Come In for Appointments
Marketing Your Wills & Estate Administration Practice
How to Network and be visible to potential clients
Wills and Power of Attorney for AARP members Seminar......................................
Brochures to Bring to Wills and Elder Law Program
WILLS AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION SEMINAR EVALUATION............................

Calling to Invite Clients to Events and Annual Will Seminar..................................
Recommend Last Will and Testament for Property, children & grand children 
REFERRAL OUT TO ANOTHER ATTORNEY........................................
Membership in AARP Legal Services Network may provide new clients 
Happy Hour networking party for professionals such as Accountants, CPA’s, Financial Planners plus clients and friends..........................................
https://www.facebook.com/events/1943027902653228
ABA registration and expo is at New York Hilton Midtown
1335 Avenue Of The Americas New York, NY 10019-6012

August 11, 2017
   Friday, Yankee Pre-game reception from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. on the Budweiser Party Deck 
Game Time:  7:05 p.m.

Pregame reception features food, draft beer and nonalcoholic beverages 
starting when gates open 
• Menu  includes  Nathan’s  hot  dogs,  burgers,  garden  salad,  domestic  draft  beer,  Pepsi  products  and  Poland  Spring  Water

• Seats  are  located  in  Section  426 for University of Scranton 7:05 Yankees Game start

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Durable Power of Attorney - Proving for someone to your affairs if you can’t

Helpful information from the NJ  Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly
 Durable Power of Attorney -  
Proving for someone to your affairs if you can’t? 
Most people know they should have a will so their estate can be administered and distributed to beneficiaries promptly and efficiently upon their death.

Unfortunately, many people fail to plan adequately for lifetime disability that leaves them unable to legally handle their business, financial and personal affairs.

The durable power of attorney allows you to choose who will be in control of your affairs, should you be unable to act on your own behalf, eliminating the need for the courts to appoint a guardian.

Disability can arise from a number of different causes, such as illness, injury, an accident or old age. If this happens – and you have not executed a durable power of attorney – then the court may decide who will act on your behalf.

Known as guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, these court actions can consume time and money and leave the decision of who will handle your affairs in the hands of a judge.
Even an ordinary power of attorney, which gives a relative, friend or bank the power to act on your behalf, becomes invalid if you become incompetent.

The New Jersey Legislature responded to this problem by creating the “Durable Power of Attorney,” which remains in effect even if you become mentally incapacitated. Having a Durable Power of Attorney can save time, expense and the inconvenience of a court proceeding.
What are some advantages of a Durable Power of Attorney? 
• You – not a judge – select – your agent.
• It can give you and your family some peace of mind knowing that you have named someone to handle your affairs.
• It can save time and the expense of a court proceeding.
What is a power of attorney? 
You, as “principal,” name another individual or an institution (such as a bank) as your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact” to act for you in handling your affairs. The appointment gives them the power, for example, to sign checks and make deposits, pay bills, contract for medical or other professional services, sell property, obtain insurance and do all the things you do in managing your daily affairs.

The authority you give to your agent can be as broad (to do anything you could do) or as narrow (to sell a particular piece of real estate) as you choose to make it. A power of attorney should be in writing, signed by you in the presence of a notary public who witnesses your signature.

This way, your agent can prove he or she has the authority to act for you. The authority you give to your agent can be as broad (to do anything you could do) or as narrow (to sell a particular piece of real estate) as you choose to make it.

A power of attorney should be in writing, signed by you in the presence of a notary public who witnesses your signature. This way, your agent can prove he or she has the authority to act for you.

If you are giving your agent authority to make decisions about real estate you own, then the power of attorney is typically recorded, along with the deed, in the county clerk’s office.
Is a durable power of attorney different? 
Yes. Unlike a simple power of attorney, a durable power of attorney survives even if you become incapacitated and cannot act on your own behalf. It typically contains words like: “This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal, or a lapse of time,” or “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal.” In order to be valid, it must be signed by you before you become disabled.
Do I need a Durable Power of Attorney even if my spouse and I own everything “jointly?” 
Yes. If you are incapacitated, your spouse can still sign checks and make withdrawals on joint bank accounts, but your spouse cannot sell jointly owned stocks or your jointly owned home without your signature. Your spouse cannot name or change a beneficiary on your life insurance or your retirement benefits. Even if you own everything jointly, you both should consider having Durable Powers of Attorney.
Can I make a Durable Power of Attorney that is effective even while I am still able to handle my own affairs? Isn’t that dangerous? 
Yes, you can create a Durable Power of Attorney that is effective while you are still able to take care of your own affairs. The advantage here is that, should you become incapacitated, your agent does not have to produce medical evidence that you are unable to handle your own affairs.
On the other hand, you are giving your agent a lot of authority and that authority can be abused, even though your agent is obligated to act solely in your best interest. So it is very important that you give this power only to someone you trust completely.
Can I make a Durable Power of Attorney that becomes effective only if I become disabled? 
Yes, you or your lawyer could include a phrase that says something like: “This power of attorney shall become effective upon my disability.” You need to indicate how it will be determined that you are disabled so that when your agent tries to use the power of attorney (say at a bank), your agent will be able to produce evidence that proves your disability.

It’s up to you to decide if you want a Durable Power of Attorney that is presently effective or one that becomes effective only if you become disabled or incapacitated. A knowledgeable attorney can assist you in deciding what type of power of attorney best meets your needs.
Can I revoke a Durable Power of Attorney? 
As long as you have capacity, you can revoke your Durable Power of Attorney. The revocation should be in writing and it should be delivered to the agent and third parties with whom the agent is dealing. While a guardian appointed by the probate court cannot revoke a Durable Power of Attorney, a court may void the Power of Attorney as part of a guardianship order.

Finally, the Durable Power of Attorney terminates at the time of your death, unless there is uncertainty as to whether you are dead or alive. Until a third party has received actual notice of the principal’s death, the third party is not held liable for continuing to rely on the Durable Power of Attorney.
What are some specific authorities that might be given in a Durable Power of Attorney? 
Ordinarily, you want your agent to be able to do anything you could do, and so most Durable Powers of Attorney are very broad. Specifically, a durable power of attorney might authorize your agent to do any or all of the following on your behalf:

• Pay for support and care
• Borrow
• Conduct banking transactions
• Buy, sell or manage property
• Handle legal claims
• Gain entry to safety deposit boxes
• Deal with insurance and retirement benefits
• Prepare and file tax returns
• Exercise stockholder rights
• Contract for services
• Do Medicaid planning
• Collect Social Security and other benefits
• Exercise rights of the settlor or grantor of a trust

A Durable Power of Attorney may be limited to authority over property and financial matters. If you want to authorize someone to make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so, you should designate someone to act as your health-care proxy.
Whom should I name as my agent? 
You may name any adult (for example, a spouse, child, other relative or a friend), or you may name a private pay guardian (such as a bank or accountant). It is very important that

you choose an agent you trust and who is willing to act solely on your behalf. Remember, your agent may be making important financial and personal decisions for you.
Can I name more than one agent? 
Yes, you can name two or more agents. If you do name more than one agent, you should specify whether your agents can act independently or whether they must act jointly. If you name two agents to act jointly, however, a deadlock may develop if they cannot agree. Rather than naming two persons to act jointly, you could name one agent with an alternate to act if the first agent cannot or will not act. However, be mindful that it may be difficult for an alternate agent to convince third parties (for example, the bank teller) that the first agent cannot or will not act.
What are the agent’s obligations to me? 
Your agent is obligated to follow your instructions (oral and written) and act in your best interest. The agent should keep accurate records and accounts and act prudently. If your agent improperly handles your affairs, he or she is legally responsible for damages to you.
What if my agent abuses the authority? 
You can revoke the Durable Power of Attorney or, if because of your disability you are unable to revoke it, anyone interested in your welfare can ask the probate court to intervene and appoint a guardian to handle your affairs.

The guardian can require the agent to account and report, and if warranted, petition the court to amend, suspend or revoke the Durable Power of Attorney. In addition, you (or your guardian) can sue your agent for damages caused by the agent’s abuse of authority.
What are some problems with a Durable Power of Attorney? 
In order for a Durable Power of Attorney to be workable, you have to give the agent a great deal of power and authority. Thus, you should be sure to choose someone you trust and have confidence in to handle your affairs.

Another problem occurs if you have an individual as your agent and he or she “quits” or “dies” or becomes disabled. In such an event, if you are mentally incapacitated and have not named an alternate agent, there will be no one to act on your behalf.

One of the biggest problems with any power of attorney is there is no guarantee that it will be accepted or recognized by third parties. For example, if the purpose of the Durable Power of Attorney is to deal with governmental agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration or the Internal Revenue Service, one must either use the agency’s special Power of Attorney form, or make sure that the Durable Power of Attorney presented to the agency contains the special wording required by each agency’s particular form.
How do I go about getting a Durable Power of Attorney? 

Because of the complexities involved, it is recommended that you consult with a knowledgeable lawyer who can prepare a Durable Power of Attorney to suit your needs and to advise you on its use.

Everyone should consider the advantages of having a Durable Power of Attorney. It’s an important part of long-term-care planning.

If you are giving your agent authority to make decisions about real estate you own, then the power of attorney is typically recorded, along with the deed, in the county clerk’s office. More info at http://www.nj.gov/ooie/helpful/durable_power_attorney.html

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Second Baptist Church Rahway Golden Rule Auxiliary Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar June 15

Second Baptist Church Rahway Golden Rule Auxiliary
Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar
June 15 at 11:30
        
at Second Baptist Church
378 E Milton Ave Rahway, NJ 07065

Senior Citizen Awareness Seminar
WILLS & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION-PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND MAKE PLANNING EASY

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

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. Why a new Power of Attorney is important 
5.  Living Wills             
6.  Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate   

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.
Wilma Hoggard, Golden Rule Auxiliary President

    Free Will Seminars and Speakers Bureau for Groups
       
        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. For additional information on the Legal Seminars, contact our Coordinator, Kenneth Vercammen's law office at (732) 572-0500, email VercammenLaw@njlaws.com 
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


2017 update Wills and Estate Planning- Free Seminar June 14

 2017 update Wills and Estate Planning- Free Seminar
June 14 Wednesday
12:15-1:00 PM  

Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen,
2053 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, NJ 08817

      COST: Free if you pre-register by email. Complimentary materials provided at 12:00 sharp. We previously held this seminar for the Metuchen and Edison Adult schools. This program is limited to 15 people. Please bring a canned food donation, which will be given to St. Matthews St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank. 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)
1. NJ Estate Tax eliminated on Estates under $2,000,000 as of January 1, 2017
2. NJ Inheritance Tax stays if assets are going to persons other than spouse or children.   
3. Federal Estate Tax exemption increased to $5.49 million in 2017 but gifts limited to $14,000 per person
4. Set up a testamentary trust in your Will for Protection for spouses and leaving assets to children:
5. We recommend Self- Proving Wills since witnesses often move or pass away
6. The New Probate law NJ Senate Law No. 708  
7. NJ Supreme Court holds if an executor or trustee violates fiduciary duty they can be liable for attorneys fees
8. Power of Attorney- Do not use a form purchased online. 
9. Federal Health Privacy Law (HIPAA)- Have a new Living Will prepared
10. Competency required to sign a Will or Power of Attorney
      COMPLIMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, Probate and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney,  Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.   

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/events/1990955494469909
Co-Sponsor: Middlesex County Estate Planning Council
To attend email VercammenLaw@Njlaws.com
other Information call 732-572-0500
Can’t attend?  We can email you materials

Send email to VercammenLaw@Njlaws.com