Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today's Probate Answers

What Is a Living Will?

What a Living Will States

A Living Will is a document in which you give directions regarding life sustaining treatment should you become unable to communicate your wishes. A Living Will is also called an Advance Health Directive, an Advance Health Care Directive, or a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.

As long as you are mentally competent, you can be consulted about desired treatment. When you have lost the capacity to communicate, however, the situation is different and a Living Will can direct someone you have appointed to follow your instructions. This document states:

• Whom you appointed to make health care decisions for you should you be unable to do so. The person chosen is known as the “Agent” and you are known as the “Principal.”

• Specific directives as to the course of treatment that is to be taken by caregivers if you become incapacitated. This can also include treatments that you forbid. You should realize that if you do not express your views, treatment to maintain your life, by whatever means available, would probably be provided once you are no longer able to communicate, even if family members object. Therefore, if there are conditions under which you would not want treatment, it is important that you communicate your wishes while you are able to do so.

For more information, regarding PROBATE or Estate Planning, please visit our website:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everything you need to know about estate planning in New Jersey!

Recently published!

SMART ESTATE PLANNING IN NEW JERSEY: What you really need to know
written by Michael D. Bonfrisco

An estimated $41 trillion in inheritance will change hands in the next 45 years - yet 75% of families have failed to plan.

The main purpose of Smart Estate Planning in New Jersey is to provide families with more readily available information that will equip them to take control over an area that is oftern misunderstood.

Planning your legacy sets the state to protect your family, to preserve what you've spent a lifetime accumulating and distribute your assets, values, and wisdom in the way you want them distributed.

Call our office 856-663-3800 to order your copy today!

For more information and a sneak preview of the book, visit us at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Survior Scared Her Assets Were Disorganized

New Jersey native and Haiti earthquake survivor, Sarla Chand told CNN while trapped in the rubble of a fallen building in Haiti for 55 hours, her thoughts were that she had to hang on and survive. She stated " ...if I don't make it, my sons and my family are going to be so mad at me for papers that are so disorganized to find my assets". She told herself she absolutely had to survive so she could go home and organize everything. Chand told CNN she was full of tremendous hope.

Sarla Chand, is now home safe and sound with her family. Her family embraced her with open arms saying "Welcome home mama!" She told CNN that her body is still very sore, and the reality of it all is still sinking in.

To read more of Sarla Chand's story go to

For more information about Probate or Planning your Estate please visit:

Friday, January 15, 2010

What a Living Trust Can Do For You! -Part 3

A Living Trust Can Protect Children From Earlier Marriages

Both the surviving spouse and the children from a previous marriage can receive fair treatment and protection under the terms of your living trust.

A Living Trust Can Insure Your Wishes Are Not Subject to Attack

Most living trusts contain a “No Contest Clause” which prevents greedy beneficiaries and their lawyers from successfully attacking your estate plan.

A Living Trust Gives You Peace of Mind

When your living trust is completed, you and your family will relax knowing that your estate will be managed and distributed by someone you have selected and trust.

For more information on Probate or Estate Planning please visit our website:


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What a Living Trust Can Do For You! -Part 2

A Living Trust Provides Privacy

Because a Living Trust avoids probate it provides privacy. Probate is a public process. Anyone can find out how much you had, to whom you left your assets, and other information about you. They do not even need a good reason. They could be nosy neighbors or relatives, or worse yet, they could be scam artists.

A Living Trust Can Reduce or Eliminate Federal Estate Taxes

With a living trust, a married couple can pass twice the exempt amount absolutely estate tax-free to their heirs. That means, in 2006, with proper tax planning a married couple can make a tax-free transfer of $4,000,000. A single person can pass $2,000,000 estate tax-free in 2006.

In 2010, there is no estate tax. However, in 2011 the maximum amount that can pass free from tax is at the same level as in 2002, $1,000,000 for a single person, $2,000,000 for a married couple with proper planning.

A Living Trust Allows You to Restrict How Your Estate is Managed and Spent Even After Your Death

It can provide for the care, support and education of your children by turning over assets to them at an age chosen by you. Even insurance proceeds can be paid to the trust so your successor trustee can manage them for the benefit of your family.

A Living Trust Can Protect Children From Their Creditors and Ex-Spouses

A living trust can leave your assets to your children in a manner that will reduce the ability of their creditors or ex-spouses to take your children’s inheritance from them.

For more information about Living Trusts or Probate, Please visit our website:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Casey Johnson, Heiress to the Johnson & Johnson Fortune

If you haven't seen it in the news, or heard it already, Casey Johnson, also known as the "Baby-Powder Princess" has passed away at only 30 years old. Even though Casey was known to have her ups and downs with drugs and alcohol, this is a horrible and tragic event, especially for her close friends, and family to have to experience.

There are going to be so many investigations regarding her death, Police have stated she may have been dead for many days before she was found in her home January 4, 2010.

Now here's the interesting part.

As of 12 o'clock midnight New Years Day, January 1st 2010, there is no estate tax. Some have said, 2010 is the year to die because of this. So this is where Johnson's fiancé, Tila Tequila will not have to pay ANY estate tax.

Now considering the Police have stated there is a possibility Johnson could have been deceased for a few days before she was found makes the situation a little more complicated. If it can be proven that Johnson died in 2009, the Estate Tax will be reinstated by congress! There are rumors that Johnson had public arguments with her family, and had been either announced as "cut off" from the family funding, but either way, she still has assets in trust that can be taxed upon. So if she died in 2009, then her estate is taxed at 45% of its value!

So how do we plan for this uncertainty?
DO AN ESTATE PLAN, It's not just about the taxes, the most important reason to do an estate plan is to protect your loved ones. A trust based plan is a way to protect your privacy, during your life as well as when you are gone.

For more information about Estate Planning or Estate Taxes, Please visit our website: