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Our Blog is our way of helping you make sense of what may otherwise be a perplexing or confusing situation in which you may find yourself.  But don't despair.  Although you may think you are the only one experiencing some type of difficulty or hardship, if you look around, you will see that others are as well.  It is said that "what is most personal is most general” — and that is true.

It's in the spirit of making the personal seem more general that we write these blogs so that you gain a better awareness of the issues you may be confronting.  And in the process of gaining awareness, you begin to develop a realistic approach to whatever it is you are seeking to accomplish. Of course, these Blog posts are no substitute for one-on-one legal advise; however, you may find them useful, if for no other reason than to put your concerns into the proper context.  From there, additional research and consultation with legal professionals can follow.

We hope you find these blogs helpful as you navigate through life's many challenges and opportunities!

P.S. if there are any topics you would like us to address, please send us a note to that effect.

Can New Jersey tax you when you die? Unfortunately, yes ☹

Posted by Anthony Serra | Mar 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

Unfortunately, even death does not prevent you from being taxed in New Jersey. While New Jersey no longer has an estate tax, it still has an Inheritance Tax that applies to certain beneficiaries, including siblings, nieces, nephews and other more remote family members and friends. It is important that you know how the Inheritance Tax works so that your will is drawn up to handle this tax the way you would like.

What is the difference between a probate attorney and an estate planning attorney?

Posted by Anthony Serra | Feb 17, 2022 | 0 Comments

A probate attorney represents clients in settling an estate after a person dies, while an estate planning attorney represents people in preparing their estate plan. They are separate disciplines, though in certain cases, it may be advantageous to retain an attorney who has expertise in both areas since the insight gleaned from one discipline may be used to the client’s advantage in the other. The law can be very nuanced for sure!

Thank You Elder Caregivers!

Posted by Anthony Serra | Mar 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

Elder caregivers should be given special thanks for the work they do to make sure the folks they serve are protected and cared for properly. It's a difficult job to be sure, but one that is most gratifying when you know you have made the life of a vulnerable person better. That should be our life's mission each and every day.

Wire Fraud in Real Estate Deals – Be Aware!

Posted by Anthony Serra | Feb 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Problem There are bad guys out there looking to steal your money by making you wire funds to what appears to be a legitimate destination when in fact it is going into their pockets. Avoid this risk by engaging processionals who are keenly aware of this problem and have protocols set up to protect you and your hard earned money.

NJ Voters Want Marijuana to Be Legal

Posted by Anthony Serra | Dec 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

On November 3, NJ Voters voted yes to legalize the use of marijuana in the Garden State. However, legislators still must pass laws to end arrests for marijuana possession and to regulate the new marijuana industry before the constitutional amendment takes effect on January 1st. The proposed bill...

The Shortcomings of Appointing Two or More People to Manage Your Affairs

Posted by Anthony Serra | Dec 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

It is usually best to appoint only one person to be your Executor, POA or Health Care Representative since appointing two or more people can lead to conflict. However, if two or more people are appointed, then it is wise to include in your documents a "Conflict Resolution Clause" that sets out a process for resolving conflict that is designed to arrive at an amicable resolution (win/win outcome) rather than going to court (win/lose outcome).

Parenting Our Parents: Protecting Our Parents When They Become Vulnerable

Posted by Anthony Serra | Dec 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

Becoming a caregiver for your aging parents can be challenging requiring us to detect as early as possible what their deficits might be. It requires patience and persistence along with a commitment to spending time observing them and listening to what they have to say. Changing the family dynamics and culture to welcome outside help is another important strategy that will keep your parents out of a care facility for as long as possible.

Estate Planning and Unmarried Couples

Posted by Anthony Serra | May 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

Marriage is not just a partnership, it is a business arrangement, albeit a very loving business arrangement. Marriage can have a significant financial impact on a family and on an estate plan. Estate panning is just as important for unmarried couples as it is for married couples.

Coronavirus and the Living Will: Tips You Should Know

Posted by Anthony Serra | Apr 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is a good time to do a Living Will that appoints someone to make medical decisions for you in case you can no longer do so and that spells out your wishes in terms of end of life medical treatment. Forms are available on-line from the N.J. Department of Health or via our on-line Smart Law platform. Legislation is pending that will allow remote notarization of legal documents, including Living Wills.

Why We All Need a Power of Attorney - - Now!

Posted by Anthony Serra | Apr 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

A Power of Attorney is an extremely important document for when (and if) you become disabled and can no longer manage your own affairs. A Power of Attorney gives someone you trust the legal authority to act foe you and in your best interests when you are unable to do so. Without a Power of Attorney, you run the risk of having someone managing your affairs who you otherwise would not want knowing your business. You can avoid that by signing a Power of Attorney.

Ball-Peen Hammers Are Handy Tools

Posted by Anthony Serra | Feb 04, 2020 | 0 Comments

Be patient with your grandparents. Sometimes they need the equivalent of a seeing eye dog for technology. And sometimes we need to be that dog. Most of all, revere your grandparents, for they are the window through which we peer into our future.

When Friendly Family Become Fierce Foes

Posted by Anthony Serra | Jan 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Family members frequently join together to start businesses, purchase homes and invest in income producing properties, though without any type of agreement in writing. It may not seem important, but before you enter into any type of family venture, make sure you have a written agreement that addresses all the possible things that could happen in the future. It will be money and time well spent!

Co-Executors – IMPERFECT Together

Posted by Anthony Serra | Jan 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

When choosing who should be the executor of your estate, it is best to avoid naming two or more people to serve as co-executors. Instead, it is better to appoint the one person who you believe is most able and willing to take care of your affairs in a reasonable, objective and responsible manner.

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