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Welcome to our Blog!

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.

Does New Jersey Have an Estate Tax?

Posted by Anthony Serra | Jun 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

New Jersey has two types of taxes that can be assessed against an estate. One is the "Estate Tax" and the other is the "Inheritance Tax." Starting ion 2018, New Jersey no longer has an "Estate Tax" but there is still the Federal Estate and Gift Tax on estates exceeding $11,200,000 that needs to be considered, though the vast majority of us have estates well below this amount. The New Jersey "Inheritance Tax" is assessed based on the relationship between the testator and the beneficiary regardless of the overall size of the estate. Spouses, children and grandchildren are exempt, but other more distant relatives and friends are taxed at between 11% and 16%.

What happens if you die without a Will?

Posted by Anthony Serra | Jun 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

Dying without a will means your estate will be distributed in a way you may not want. It also leaves to others to decide who will take care of your children and who will oversee their money. The best way to avoid this is to have a will drawn up for you! We can help you at a very reasonable cost through our on-line legal services platform!

Adult Guardianship: A Measure of Last Resort

Posted by Anthony Serra | Nov 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

If you read the first four blogs of this series, you know how much I encourage everyone to make sure they do some basic estate planning.  This includes preparing a Will as well as a Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will.  These may not seem like important documents to you now since you may be...

Applying for Medicaid: It will make you want to scream!

Posted by Anthony Serra | Nov 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

Anyone who has applied for a government program knows how frustrating that process can be.  But applying for Medicaid – forget it.  I would rather go through a root canal! Medicaid is a form of welfare Medicaid is a federal social welfare program that is administered by the states that pays for...

Nursing home cost – who will pay?

Posted by Anthony Serra | Nov 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

The fear of having to go into a nursing home scares the bejeebers out of people – and it should!  First of all, no one aspires to want to live out the remainder of their years in a nursing home.  Second, the cost can be crippling.  The average cost for a nursing home today is about $10,000 per mo...

How To Find Your Way When You’ve Lost Your Mind

Posted by Anthony Serra | Jun 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

An initial diagnosis of dementia is difficult to accept, mainly because we think it will never happen to us or a loved one. In this humorous vignette, it wasn't until the reality of her husband's condition touched her at a very personal place in her heart that she realized her husband's memory deficits were minded more serious than she thought.

The Wise Old Man, the Young Boy and the Little Sparrow

Posted by Anthony Serra | Dec 03, 2015 | 0 Comments

I recently heard a story about a wise old man, a young boy and little bird that I thought was very insightful.  Since it was my first encounter with the story, I did what comes natural these days and Googled the title to see if the story has been told before or whether this was an original piece. ...

Welcome to My New Blog!

Posted by Anthony Serra | Nov 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

As a practicing lawyer for over 25 years, it is fair to say I have seen life from many different vantage points.  In fact, it is the thing I love most about being a lawyer – I get to know and understand a client's problem or challenge from the client's perspective and see the world through their ...

Resolving Conflict: A Paradigm Shift

Posted by Anthony Serra | Nov 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

You could see the anguish in his eyes.  I just met this fellow (not a client) but it was apparent he was struggling to keep it together.  “What's wrong my friend” I asked?  “Oh, it's a personal thing I am dealing with,” he replied.  “I need to see my attorney this afternoon and sign some papers. ...

Sam’s 89 – Can’t You See He’s Incapacitated

Posted by Anthony Serra | Jan 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

When asked – what day it is? Sam froze like a deer in headlights.  At age 89 he thought he was doing just fine and was able to answer the first few questions okay, but that “day” question – boy that was a doozy.  He couldn't quite get the month and year right and he was a few Presidents behind, b...

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