Can a Trustee of a Trust Created Under a Last Will Distribute the Trust Assets Outright to Named Beneficiaries and Then Terminate the Trust

HNW Elder Law, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

Many people create trusts for beneficiaries in their last will(s) There are circumstances when a trustee needs or wants to terminate the trust This article discusses when a trustee under a Last Will can collapse the trust and distribute trust funds to a named beneficiary Sometimes it makes sense to terminate a trust in a will but, not always.  The decision often depends on the language of the trust document and the intent of the trust creator. If the beneficiaries are young, reckless (aka young & stupid), spend thrifts, alcohol or drug addicts, I have serious doubts whether the trust can be terminated. Here’s an Actual Recent Case Discussing the Termination of a Trust Under a Last Will by the …

Is This a Season of Joy and Gratitude or a Season of Sadness and Despair?

HNW Firm News

Message from Fredrick (Fred) Niemann To Our Clients, Friends and Associates, I hope everyone enjoys a very Merry Christmas and/or Happy Chanukah. To all a healthy and meaningful 2020. It is our privilege at Hanlon, Niemann & Wright to be of service to you and our thousands of clients. We take our professional responsibility seriously and realize you have many choices when it comes to selecting an attorney and law firm. We thank you. Last year I offered thoughts about a subject that caught my attention while holiday shopping. When I sent it out via email, I never expected the response it generated. So many of you responded with appreciation for the sentiments expressed and the timeliness of the message. …

Very pleased

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Words cannot describe how good the service at Hanlon Niemann & Wright was.  Lorraine Banach, paralegal to Mr. Niemann, is a real gem.  She was super. Paul Van Houten  

The Case of a Handwritten Note Being Admitted to Probate as a Holographic Will

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate

A Recent NJ Case Discusses When a Handwritten Note Can Be Probated as a Last Will Sometimes a handwritten letter or document can be probated as a Last Will or Holographic Will A probate court judge will read the written document and decide if it qualifies as a Legal Will NJ statutory laws on Last Wills can be waived under certain circumstances Case Details Alice died in 2015. Following her death, a niece by marriage found a handwritten document among the personal papers in Alice’s kitchen. The handwritten document stated: I’m Alice M.  I wish to be cremated upon my death along with my husband and our ashes placed in a similar (illegible) and placed in mausoleum. I wish my …

Can Construction Permit Fees Relating to Handicapped Improvements Be Waived by a Municipality?

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

Handicapped persons have certain protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws unavailable to the non-disabled One protection is an exemption from paying fees to local municipalities to improve their home This article discusses exemptions under the New Jersey Construction Code regulation’s concerning permit fees and Mt. Laurel housing contribution fees Here’s The Background A client purchased a home in Monmouth County (the municipality and county doesn’t matter for purposes of this article). She knocked the house down and is now building a new home. She is handicapped. The township is charging $5,500 dollars in permitting fees, etc., and she is wondering if she is exempt due to her handicap. More importantly, they are charging her $14,000 in …

Is Suicide Ever Okay?

HNW Elder Care Law

This blog was written by an elder law colleague of mine, Victoria Collier, Esq., who lives in Georgia.  I met Victoria years ago but knew nothing of her personal life.  I did not realize that her life was directly impacted by the suicide of her mother while young.  I encourage you to read her post below.  It is a very thoughtful insight to suicide by a now middle-aged woman with her own children. “Death is a difficult topic. But death by suicide is a very controversial topic, one that I am going to start here as it is very close to my heart. I grew up hearing, “suicide is the most selfish act” and as an adult I have heard …

Can a Shareholder With a Minority Ownership Interest in a New Jersey Company Be Fired?

HNW Business Law, Shareholder Rights Litigation

• Shareholders are often employees of the company they own • Majority Shareholder will sometimes “fire” and dismiss a minority shareholder as an employee • This article discusses a recent New Jersey case where the minority shareholder was fired and then sued the company and her co-shareholders In a recent N.J. case a shareholder with a 12% ownership interest in a small corporation appealed her dismissal as an employee claiming minority shareholder oppression while employed as an at-will employee. She contended that she had a reasonable expectation of continued employment after a thirteen-year history with her former employer, and that her at-will employment designation was irrelevant. The employee had also signed a Shareholder Agreement which stated that she contracted to …

Trade Secret and Confidential Information Litigation:  It’s All About the Facts

HNW Business Law, Covenants Not to Compete and Restraints

Most companies require employment agreements for important executives, high-level management and key personnel to protect trade secrets and confidential information. Employment Agreements which prohibit disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information are legal in NJ and will be enforced, if not unreasonable. New Jersey law allows for issuance of an injunction by the courts to protect a company’s trade secrets even without a post-employment agreement. State and Federal Trade Secret Laws The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act and the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, provide New Jersey businesses with some powerful laws protecting trade secrets.   The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act offers strong remedies to businesses in the event an employee sets up to leave with confidential information …